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Security experts sound off about Capitol protester crackdown

Solidarity singers in the state capitol.
Solidarity singers in the state capitol.

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Some security experts are speaking out against the Walker administration’s crackdown on protesters at the State Capitol.

The administration has cited a federal judge’s ruling from early July to justify giving about 300 citations to members of the Solidarity Singers – who’ve defied the administrations’ policy of requiring permits for Capitol gatherings.

At the group’s daily sing-along on Monday, the first felony arrest was made, when a 22-year-old protestor was taken to the ground and carried away.

UW-Madison law school professor Michael Scott tells the Wisconsin State Journal that the officers’ tactics are inflaming the situation. U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer said arresting protesters only makes the officers targets.

A day after the felony arrest, the protestors’ numbers nearly tripled for Tuesday’s noon-time sing-along.

Three off-duty Madison police officers joined in – and they were not arrested, while 10 others were. The officers wore T-shirts reading “Cops for Labor.” One said it was the only real way they could speak out against the loss of collective bargaining for most state and local government unions.

Police and fire unions maintain their bargaining privileges, except for their health insurance.