Minority Democrats have sharply criticized the Michigan Legislature's Republican leadership for the closing of the state Capitol during union protests over right-to-work legislation.
State police used pepper spray Thursday to subdue protesters trying to rush the state Senate after Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republican leaders announced they would press for quick approval of legislation limiting union powers. Police arrested eight people and closed the Capitol to the public.
The Michigan Democratic Party issued a statement calling it "a sad day in Michigan history."
The Democratic statement says Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and House Speaker Jase Bolger took a "shameful step" to undermine free speech. It says Republicans are showing "their true colors" and "shutting down dissent."
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Republican leaders.