MADISON (WKOW) -- A top state labor official became the latest high-profile protester to be arrested during the noon-time presence of the Solidarity Sing-a-long in the state capitol.
Marty Beil, executive director of Wisconsin AFSCME Local-24, was handcuffed, cited and led away shortly after protest singing began Wednesday. The burly Beil was largely the face of state public unions in 2011, as unions unsuccessfully opposed Governor Walker's strict limits on collective bargaining.
For more than a month, state capitol police officers have made daily, weekday arrests, after a federal judge ruled a group of twenty or more people can be required to hold a permit to rally in the building. Activists in opposition to the polices of Governor Walker's administration say they need no permit to exercise their free speech rights.
Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) addressed a crowd of more than one hundred participants and observers Wednesday. reading a proclamation from a Democratic state senator in praise of the daily Sing-a-long.
No state lawmakers have been arrested, but a Madison city council member and a member of the Madison school board have been arrested in recent days.
A frequent activist, Damon Terrell, remains jailed after his Monday arrest on a tentative felony charge of battery to a peace officer. The arrest was captured on videotape, showing Terrell being pinned to the floor of the capitol rotunda by responding police officers. Terrell's brother maintains Damon Terrell committed no crime.
"I think they've been escalating for the last week in terms of who they've arrested, and how they're arresting people," Beil tells 27 News.
Terrell is expected to have a court appearance Thursday, possibly for the sole purpose of getting an opportunity to have bail set.
A state official says Terrell's arrest was proper.
State officials have yet to release the number of arrests and citations Wednesday as the result of enforcement of building rules.
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