More and more Republican controlled states are joining in the killing of our democracy. They are making it harder and harder for us to survive as a democracy by simply stripping away our civil rights.
The latest assaults are coming from several states trying to pass laws to take away our First Amendment right of Free Speech. They are targeting our ability to protest and in some cases even threatening protesters with death.
In North Dakota they are trying to get a law passed that says you can run over a protester who may be blocking traffic. All you need to say is that it was “unintentional”. You read that right. If you are in North Dakota and this law passes, you will be able to hit the gas and plow into demonstrators blocking traffic and get away with it simply by saying it was an accident.
The law will place the burden of proof on the pedestrian and not the driver of the car. Why was this bill introduced? Because the bill’s author said he wrote it after his mother-in-law was blocked by protestors while driving.
In Indiana there is a pending bill that will allow police to “use any means necessary to break up a demonstration 15 minutes after they are notified of the protest.” That especially includes any demonstration that may block traffic. Take particular not of that phrase “any means necessary”. Although it doesn’t specifically state it, it opens the door to deadly force to break up demonstrations someone deems “unlawful”.
In Iowa it will become a “felony” to block traffic if their law passes. It says that if a demonstration blocks traffic on any road with a 55 mph speed limit, the demonstrators will be arrested and charged with a felony with a punishment of up to 5 years in jail and $7,500 fine.
In Minnesota there are two pending laws. The first would increase the penalty for obstructing traffic to a gross misdemeanor, meaning offenders could face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. The other would make protesters pay policing costs if their protests were deemed illegal or a nuisance by a court. Since we have a right to protest, how can anyone deem it to be “illegal”. And, by nature, protests are a nuisance to those not participating in them.
Louisiana also has a law that is completely ridiculous. In their version of this stupidity, you will be charged with a “hate crime” if the arresting officer says you were resisting arrest. There is no clear definition of what “resisting arrest” in the case means. Is simply sitting down and not following orders to stand up considered “resisting arrest”?
It must also be pointed out why these laws are even being considered. In North Dakota we have had massive protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux. Thousands have been arrested in these protests, and in many cases, traffic has been blocked by the protesters.
The State Legislature, who claimed that the pipeline was too dangerous to follow its original route through Bismark, doesn’t like the protests. As a matter of fact, there are Republican Legislatures who want to take the management of Indian Reservations away from the Federal Government. Only, they are under the Federal government because they were established by treaty with the federal government not the state which was not even a state at the time.
In other states wanting to pass these anti-free speech laws there have been demonstrations by Black Lives Matter and other groups demonstrating against shootings by police of unarmed people.
These are more examples of how the Republican Party is trying to establish their authoritarian government beginning at the state level. The very idea of civil rights, free speech, and any other rights protected under the U.S. Constitution is extremely troubling to their agenda.
So, rather than starting at the federal level, they are laying the ground work at the state level where they have control. That way, they can simply codify those laws by passing some kind of stupid law that says the federal government cannot interfere with states discriminating against anyone they wish.
They have taken their playbook directly from Lenin. They plan to be the only political party in the country and suppress anyone who dares to resist their plans. Their leader, trump, has taken his playbook from Stalin. The purges of federal employees is nothing more than getting rid of anyone who may disagree with his vision of his authoritarian government.
Republican controlled states started the ball rolling years ago. Now we are seeing that ball rolling downhill at deadly speed. Only we the people can stop the ball, but we need to act now and not wait until it is too late. We are facing nothing less than governmental terrorism against its own citizens.
And, the shirts keep marching along!