Police arrest, pepper spray protesters at state Capitol

Michigan State Police say they have used chemical spray on right-to-work protesters who tried to rush into the Senate chamber at the State Capitol.

Inspector Gene Adamczyk says people tried to rush past two troopers guarding the Senate door Thursday. He says the troopers used chemical spray after the people refused to obey orders to stop.

He says there were arrests but didn't give a numbers.

Adamczyk says the Capitol has been temporarily closed because of concerns for the safety of people and the building. He estimated about 2,500 visitors were at the Capitol.

Adamczyk said the building wasn't at capacity but protesters were heavily concentrated in a few areas.

Matt Frendewey, the communications director for the Michigan Republican Party calls the action "despicable" saying it "demonstrates the lengths that union bosses will go in order to maintain their iron grip on the rights of Michigan workers."

The Michigan Democratic Party and its chair, Mark Brewer, have filed a lawsuit to force the building to open its doors.

The MDP has released the following statement:

"Speaker Bolger and Senator Richardville have taken the unprecendented and shameful step of closing the Capitol building to Michigan citizens, pepper-spraying and arresting people who are attempting to exercise their right to free speech. At their news conference this morning, Snyder claimed this legislation will help workers. If they're interested in helping workers, attacking them and arresting them for speaking out is completely counterproductive. If they're interested in helping workers, shutting down dissent is not the way to do it."