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Old 01-19-2017, 06:42 PM   #1
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Republican legislators pushing to criminalize highway protests

There's not a lot of news on this yet, and I'm getting a fake news vibe from it at the moment, but it could be interesting to follow. On one hand, this could be discussed solely in terms of highway protests in isolation. On the other, the concept of this is so unapologetically un-American that I can't imagine many on this board would legitimately support the logical conclusion of this legislation.

It is, as they say, not a good look.

On Verge of Trump Era, Republicans Push New Laws to 'Chill Protest' Nationwide | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

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Republican legislators are proposing laws that would criminalize nonviolent protest in North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, and Iowa

Republican lawmakers around the country are pushing legislation that would criminalize and penalize nonviolent protest, apparently anticipating an upswell of civic engagement during the coming Trump administration.

Spencer Woodman reported at The Intercept Thursday on the anti-protest bills proposed in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and North Dakota.

"Over the past few weeks, Republican legislators across the country have quietly introduced a number of proposals to criminalize and discourage peaceful protest," Woodman wrote.

Among a swath of bills proposed in North Dakota that would allow police to crack down further on public protests, the state legislature put forth one that would legalize running over protesters, as Common Dreams reported.

It appears GOP lawmakers in other states are thinking similarly.

Woodman summarizes:

In Minnesota, a bill introduced by Republicans last week seeks to dramatically stiffen fines for freeway protests and would allow prosecutors to seek a full year of jail time for protesters blocking a highway. Republicans in Washington state have proposed a plan to reclassify as a felony civil disobedience protests that are deemed "economic terrorism." Republicans in Michigan introduced and then last month shelved an anti-picketing law that would increase penalties against protestors and would make it easier for businesses to sue individual protestors for their actions. And in Iowa a Republican lawmaker has pledged to introduce legislation to crack down on highway protests.

"This trend of anti-protest legislation dressed up as 'obstruction' bills is deeply troubling," Lee Rowland, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Woodman.

"A law that would allow the state to charge a protester $10,000 for stepping in the wrong place, or encourage a driver to get away with manslaughter because the victim was protesting, is about one thing: chilling protest," Woodman added.
https://theintercept.com/2017/01/19/...ceful-protest/

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ON SATURDAY, THE Women’s March on Washington will kick off what opponents of the incoming administration hope will be a new era of demonstrations against the Republican agenda. But in some states, nonviolent demonstrating may soon carry increased legal risks — including punishing fines and significant prison terms — for people who participate in protests involving civil disobedience. Over the past few weeks, Republican legislators across the country have quietly introduced a number of proposals to criminalize and discourage peaceful protest.

The proposals, which strengthen or supplement existing laws addressing the blocking or obstructing of traffic, come in response to a string of high-profile highway closures and other actions led by Black Lives Matter activists and opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Republicans reasonably expect an invigorated protest movement during the Trump years.

In North Dakota, for instance, Republicans introduced a bill last week that would allow motorists to run over and kill any protester obstructing a highway as long as a driver does so accidentally. In Minnesota, a bill introduced by Republicans last week seeks to dramatically stiffen fines for freeway protests and would allow prosecutors to seek a full year of jail time for protesters blocking a highway. Republicans in Washington state have proposed a plan to reclassify as a felony civil disobedience protests that are deemed “economic terrorism.” Republicans in Michigan introduced and then last month shelved an anti-picketing law that would increase penalties against protestors and would make it easier for businesses to sue individual protestors for their actions. And in Iowa a Republican lawmaker has pledged to introduce legislation to crack down on highway protests.
Thoughts?
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:52 PM   #2
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"Christians" looking to legalize killing people. That's a good one.

Seems that republicans are willing to let the freedom they claim to hold so dear slip away for the sake of "winning." Or getting rich.


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Old 01-20-2017, 02:24 AM   #3
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Protests have been around a long time, without many issues.
Closing freeways and highways is not protests, it is anarchy. Pass these laws now, they are overdue and only a reaction to terrible, deplorable actions.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:03 AM   #4
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Protests have been around a long time, without many issues.

This is how we get Trump voters.


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Old 01-20-2017, 05:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
There's not a lot of news on this yet, and I'm getting a fake news vibe from it at the moment, but it could be interesting to follow. On one hand, this could be discussed solely in terms of highway protests in isolation. On the other, the concept of this is so unapologetically un-American that I can't imagine many on this board would legitimately support the logical conclusion of this legislation.

It is, as they say, not a good look.

On Verge of Trump Era, Republicans Push New Laws to 'Chill Protest' Nationwide | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community



https://theintercept.com/2017/01/19/...ceful-protest/



Thoughts?
What is 'un-American' and I wonder how similar it is to the use of 'un-Australian'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
Protests have been around a long time, without many issues.
Closing freeways and highways is not protests, it is anarchy. Pass these laws now, they are overdue and only a reaction to terrible, deplorable actions.
That's good, my friend.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:05 AM   #6
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Republican legislators pushing to criminalize highway protests

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Originally Posted by Vlad n U 2 View Post
What is 'un-American' and I wonder how similar it is to the use of 'un-Australian'.

Protester rights are tied in with several explicit first amendment rights, up to the point that the protests are no longer peaceful in nature. The challenge for these legislators is in arguing that highway protests are a public safety crisis in order to avoid trampling on the rights of Americans.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:13 PM   #7
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Could be a solution looking for a problem.

Are the current laws being fulled enforced? Are the few folks deciding to block big roads being held accountable and getting the stiffest penalties? My guess is no, and no. Let's try those things first. But I bet the ACLU would have issues with that, too.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:30 PM   #8
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What is 'un-American' and I wonder how similar it is to the use of 'un-Australian'.
I can tell ya what's very American. Crappy, overbearing legislation
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
Protests have been around a long time, without many issues.
Closing freeways and highways is not protests, it is anarchy. Pass these laws now, they are overdue and only a reaction to terrible, deplorable actions.

But we don't want Ambulances to make it to the hospitals before the person bleeding out inside dies.

Blocking arterials in the name of Climate Gender Justice is more important.


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Old 01-21-2017, 07:51 AM   #10
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Republican legislators pushing to criminalize highway protests

My biggest issue with blocking highways is that it just doesn't seem like a particularly effective technique. I get that civil disobedience has a history of being effective, in the Civil Rights Movement, in the apartheid regime in South Africa, in India... but I don't think that this particular technique, in 2017, does much more than alienate potential moderate supporters of causes.

If your goal is to just get as much attention as possible, or to project anger (neither of which I'll discount as goals), then maybe it works. But from a standpoint of just buying supporters to push change, I'm not convinced.

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Old 01-21-2017, 03:49 PM   #11
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But we don't want Ambulances to make it to the hospitals before the person bleeding out inside dies.

Blocking arterials in the name of Climate Gender Justice is more important.


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Yes, and if the children's orphanage is on fire , well the fire trucks will just have to get in line and wait behind the ambulances and the rest of us just trying to get somewhere.

Anarchists must be allowed free access to roadways so they can to take pictures of each other, be seen my millions, interviewed on the spot by the most qualified investigative journalists and set fire to at least one car.

This fire setting is why I hate it when I'm the first one to drive up.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:09 AM   #12
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...said the guys who voted for a candidate who had Chris Christie working for him.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:18 AM   #13
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My heart does swell with joy at your sudden concern for little Oliver's safety in the face of the unwashed hippie homosexual hordes and their constitutionally protected right to protest.

So let's make a deal, shall we? Compromise still works, yea?

We shall agree to ban the blocking if major city arteries, just in case there's a major city our there with only one fire house on the other side of a river and all. We shall do this in the interest of saving little Orphan Annie, as there is so much history of orphanages burning down during protests.

In exchange for this change to the 1st Amendment, all we ask is a few reasonable tweaks to the 2nd Amendment so that crazy people can't gain access to firearms that they then turn on toddlers. Because that actually did happen, and you guys did shit about it.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:39 AM   #14
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Just get the parade permit and stick to it, not too hard. The cops, fire/ambulance etc will take care of the rest as far as safety. I'm sure the folks protesting yesterday were permitted.

But isn't the thread more about *illegal* demonstrations?
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:55 AM   #15
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Just get the parade permit and stick to it, not too hard. The cops, fire/ambulance etc will take care of the rest as far as safety. I'm sure the folks protesting yesterday were permitted.



But isn't the thread more about *illegal* demonstrations?

There's always one Anarchist who's good with the logistics and filings


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