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State Capitol protest group head challenging permit citations

The rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, WI
The rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, WI

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The head of a group that sings protest songs at the State Capitol every weekday says he’s challenging eight tickets for not getting state permits.

Brandon Barwick tells the Madison Capital Times he received 3 citations by mail last week, along with 5 others earlier – and the potential fines total almost $1,700.

The online paper said Capitol Police Chief David Erwin has put more pressure on the Solidarity Singers to comply with the administration’s policy, which requires permits for gatherings in the statehouse.

Erwin began a crackdown on the policy soon after he began running the Capitol police force this past summer. Barwick has been conducting the group for about the last four months.

Members say the group has no real structure, so no one’s in a position to sign a state permit.

Daithi Wolfe often leads the group on Friday sing-alongs which take place outside the Capitol – but he recently led the group inside as well, and was given a citation.

The sing-alongs have become a mainstay ever since the 2011 protests over the state law which limited public union bargaining.

The group plans to celebrate its 500th gathering on the November 6th Election Day.