As an old protester from the 60s and 70s I am always interested in the attempts by government to try and silence the people’s right to protest….and 2021 has been an active year to try and silence people from taking the politicians and attempts to task…..
This June, a dangerously low-flying helicopter operated by the Department of Homeland Security descended on the largest civil disobedience action yet against the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota. In an attempt to disperse the crowd, hundreds of demonstrators were pummeled with debris — and misdemeanor trespassing charges. If Minnesota Republican House Members Shane Mekeland and Eric Lucero had their way, demonstrators and anyone involved in the organizing process would have been hit with serious felony charges, a $5,000 fine, and liability for any damages incurred by the multibillion-dollar company Enbridge.
Mekeland and Lucero, who introduced these measures in a bill in late February, aren’t alone in their repressive ambitions. Rather than address the onslaught of police violence against Black people or catastrophic environmental degradation, Republican state politicians continue to attack the people rising up against those systemic injustices. As many as 225 anti-protest bills have been introduced in 45 states since 2016 according to the International Center for Non-Profit Law U.S. Protest Law Tracker. More than 100 have been introduced since Black liberation demonstrators took to the streets in June 2020. Thirty-four such bills have been enacted since 2016.
Lawmakers in Tennessee, Montana and Oklahoma passed the latest anti-protest laws. Bills in Iowa, Texas, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio progressed within the last two months.
Looks like Repubs are running scared (as typical for cowards) for the protests are doing their job and making people open up their thinking about the injustices and inequalities in the US…after packing state legislatures with like minded cowards they can now set about making protest illegal…..
Is that what America has become….more a political abortion from the original thinking of the Founders?
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