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February 01, 2017
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State Legislatures Move to Thwart Protests

"NPQ declared this week that 'slactkivism is over,' and the sheer number of marchers in the past week seems to bear this out. But some states have very recently introduced legislation to impede protestors, claiming that the disruption is not just a public nuisance but an actual danger. Legislatures in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Iowa all introduced bills to penalize or criminalize protestors." , as reported by Erin Rubin for Nonprofit Quarterly. "The Intercept summarized the anti-protest bills in this way:

'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” … And in Iowa, a Republican lawmaker has pledged to introduce legislation to crack down on highway protests.' "

"Blocking roads or highways is an integral part of many protests. They deliberately interrupt traffic patterns, hoping to also interrupt the thought patterns that lead to injustice. In the case of Black Lives Matter and other racially motivated protests, they also symbolize the harm done to black communities by the freeway system that was built over many black neighborhoods."

See link to full article below.
Source:
Nonprofit Quarterly The Intercept
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