Barwick, who says his group doesn’t condone that sort of activity, said he can’t control fringe participants who engage in harassing or criminal behavior.
State Sen. Robert Jauch, a 66-year-old Democrat, defends the singers’ music as ‘‘the sweet sound of democracy.’’ He said he too remembered the civil rights movement and anti-war movements of the 1960s and ‘70s, and how songs of those eras helped people sustain their causes.
But Republican state Rep. Stephen Nass said the singers have worn out their welcome with the endless noise.
‘‘They come in and take over the rotunda and argue that it’s free speech,’’ he said. ‘‘But when they’re disrupting visitors and school groups, that’s not free speech. They should have to adhere to the same rules as everyone else.’’
Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.