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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bye, bye First Amendment

Republicans are stooping to a new low when it comes to their disdain for civil disobedience and the Bill of Rights.

As anti-Trump protests continue across the nation over a week after the election, a Republican lawmaker in Washington state is drafting a proposed law that would label the protesters as “terrorists” and give law enforcement and prosecutors the ability to charge them with “economic terrorism.”

According to Fox Q13, the law “would allow felony prosecution of protesters who block streets, cause property damage, threaten jobs and put public safety at risk.”

State Senator Doug Ericksen, who proposed the legislation, insists that he “respects” the right to protest, “but when it endangers people’s lives and property, it goes too far.”

“Fear, intimidation and vandalism are not a legitimate form of political expression,” he continued. “Those who employ it must be called to account.”

Breaking the law would be considered a felony and would apply to any protester who is accused of trying to “intimidate or coerce private citizens or the government by obstructing economic activity” and “those who fund, organize, sponsor or otherwise encourage others to commit acts of economic terrorism. Accomplices may be required to pay restitution up to triple the amount of economic damage.”

“We are not just going after the people who commit these acts of terrorism,” Ericksen said. “We are going after the people who fund them. Wealthy donors should not feel safe in disrupting middle class jobs.”

In other words, Republicans are literally trying to classify acts of civil disobedience as “terrorism” in order to ruthlessly put down the mass protests against their fascist leader.

Of course, if Hillary Clinton had won the election, Republicans would not being saying the same thing about right-wing protests, even if those protests included acts of bloody violence that Trump supporters threatened to use if Trump had lost. 

Somehow, they believe rebellion and armed government coups are patriotic, but they consider civil disobedience an act of terrorism.

As Doug Honig of the Washington ACLU explained, if this kind of law had been in place during the protests against segregation, every black person who sat down at a “white’s only” lunch counter to protest discrimination would have been charged with committing terrorism.

“That’s the kind of excessive approach to peaceful protest that our country and state do not need,” 

Image result for open carry
No problem here
Honig explained. “Let’s keep in mind that civil rights protesters who sat down at lunch counters could be seen as ‘disrupting business’ and ‘obstructing economic activity,’ and their courageous actions were opposed by segregationists as trying to ‘coerce business and government.’”

So this is the latest strategy Republicans are looking to employ to silence people who disagree with them and it would drastically restrict the right to protest to the point of elimination.

But again, this law would not apply to right-wingers who openly protest through displaying or using firearms in order to scare and intimidate.