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Union leader Marty Beil arrested during daily Capitol protest

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s best-known public employee union leader was arrested Wednesday during the almost daily protest sing-along in the State Capitol Rotunda.

Capitol Police took Marty Beil away in handcuffs shortly after the noon time event by the Solidarity Singers began.

Beil heads the state’s largest employee union, which the state officially no longer recognizes as the result of the Act 10 collective bargaining limits.

That law has been subject of the Solidarity Singers’ protests ever since the law was first considered in 2011. There have been over 300 arrests and tickets issued since the Capitol Police began a crackdown in July, because the singers have failed to get a required Capitol permit for gatherings of 20 or more people.

The group says it shouldn’t need the government’s approval to protest, and some security experts are now questioning the Walker administration’s crackdown.

Wednesday in Milwaukee, the Republican Walker said the police are not the problem. He said it’s up to the protestors to follow the rules and get a permit. Walker said it’s not true that he wants to quash dissent. In his words, “They can protest every day while I’m in office. I have no problem with that. That is what’s great about America. We ask them to follow the rules.”