As Trump Takes Power, Politicians Around the US Move to Make Protesting Illegal

By Sarah Cronin, Anti-Media

(ANTIMEDIA) Indiana passed a bill on Wednesday that authorizes police officers to shut down highway protesting “by any means necessary.” S.B. 285, as it is known, obliges a public official to dispatch all available officers within 15 minutes of discovering any assembly of 10 or more people who are obstructing vehicle traffic.

The bill then authorizes the responding officers to clear roads “by any means necessary.”

Critics are calling it the “Block Traffic and You Die” bill, an apt name for a bill that has co-opted the phrase “any means necessary,” used famously in speech delivered by Malcolm X during the Civil Rights movement, turning it into a threat against government dissent (with no apparent awareness of the irony).

S.B. 285 is among a collection of increasingly hostile ‘anti-obstruction’ laws that have been quietly submitted in states around the nation over the past few months. A report by The Intercept published Wednesday tracked five such anti-protest laws introduced by Republican lawmakers in different states, four of which are currently pending.

One of the most disturbing among them is House Bill N. 1203, a bill introduced earlier this month by North Dakota lawmaker Keith Kempenich in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests. The bill would exempt motorists who hit demonstrators with their cars from any liability in cases where the victims were “obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway.” This twisted take on protest criminalization comes short of condoning manslaughter as a viable means of crowd control.

Also this month, Minnesota State Representative Kathy Lohmer led the effort on submitting H.F. 322, a bill that would re-classify obstructing highway traffic from a misdemeanor to a “gross misdemeanor” and would authorize government units to sue protesters for “public safety response costs related to unlawful assemblies.”

The proposed legislation is strikingly reminiscent of Washington State Senator Eric Ericksen’s proposal to punish protesters as ‘economic terrorists,’ which Anti-Media first reported on in November.

All of the proposed laws share a common trait in that they were all adopted in response to a major protest event in that state. H.F. 322 was submitted shortly after a judge dismissed the riot charges against protesters who took to the St. Paul Interstate last July in a demonstration against the police shooting of Philando Castille. Ericksen’s “economic terrorism” bill announcement came just days after anti-fracking protesters blocked railroad tracks in Olympia, Washington. DAPL protests inspired both the Indiana and North Dakota bills.

These retroactive responses on behalf of Republican state lawmakers are also seen as preemptive strikes against the threat of increased protests during the Trump presidency.

As ACLU staff attorney Lee Rowland expressed in an interview with The Intercept, these so-called ‘obstruction bills’ are but thinly disguised efforts to squash any government dissent.

“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,” Rowland said.

Growing tension between government officials and protesters is expected to come to a culmination on Inauguration Day in D.C., where there will already be many barriers in place to limit demonstrations.

First and foremost is the Federal Grounds and Buildings Improvement Act of 2011, known as H.R 347.

H.R.-347 is a revision of a 1971 federal trespassing law that made it a crime to “willfully and knowingly” remain in an area under Secret Security protection. H.R. 347 removes the word “willingly,” a legal technicality that effectively lowers the bar on the mental state required to be found guilty under the law.

As explained by the American Civil Liberties Union:

“Under the original language of the law, you had to act ‘willfully and knowingly’ when committing the crime. In short, you had to know your conduct was illegal. Under H.R. 347, you will simply need to act ‘knowingly,’ which here would mean that you know you’re in a restricted area, but not necessarily that you’re committing a crime.”

Under current federal law, protesting in proximity to an elected official under the protection of the Secret Service, which includes President Trump, is a crime punishable by fine and up to ten years in jail.

Protesting during Trump’s inauguration comes with additional complications as the National Park Service reserves a large portion of the inaugural parade route along Pennsylvania Ave and in Freedom Plaza for ticket sales under the exclusive discretion of Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC). This means the PIC can refuse to allow protesters along the route.

An activist group called Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (Answer) has been engaged in a  legal battle with the National Park Service since 2005, arguing the privatization of the Inauguration is an attempt to “sanitize” the streets of dissent.

While the National Park Service has been controversially setting aside tickets for the PIC since 1980, the issue garnered more attention this year when it was discovered that the sidewalk in front of the Trump International Hotel, a significant site for protesters, would be a part of PIC’s ticket-only area.

Adding another level of bureaucracy, the Washington Post reported the hotel and plaza in front are actually under the control of Trump’s real estate agency, meaning protesters would have to literally ‘ask permission’ to remain in the space.

As the week comes to an end, it becomes apparent that dissent is being criminalized not only nationwide but on multiple fronts. Increased regulations are appearing that limit the public spaces that can be lawfully occupied in protest. Meanwhile, legislation is also being introduced to increase the negative consequences for newly unlawful protests. Should more states follow suit with Indiana, demonstrators will soon find themselves paradoxically protesting for their right to protest at all.


This article (As Trump Takes Power, Politicians Around the US Move to Make Protesting Illegal) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sarah Cronin and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

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4 thoughts on “As Trump Takes Power, Politicians Around the US Move to Make Protesting Illegal”

  1. freedom of speech definition. The right to speak without censorship or restraint by the government. Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.— Disturbing the peace, also known as a breach of the peace, disorderly conduct, or by similar terms, occurs whenever someone acts in a way that disrupts the public order or disturbs the peace and tranquility of the community. Blocking your fellow citizen is Disturbing the peace. The people who have been blocking the roads have put themselves in jeopardy and disrespected others.

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  2. January 23, 2017

    President Trump Orders FBI To Conduct Massive Raid On CDC Headquarters

    By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

    A stunning Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that just hours after President Donald Trump and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey “warmly embraced” in the White House yesterday, FBI agents conducted a massive early morning raid on the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based in Atlanta, Georgia, accompanied by Doctor-Scientist William Thompson—who is one of the most feared government whistleblowers in the United States for his exposing the vaccine-to-autism link cover-up. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]

    According to this report (and as we’ve previously reported on), almost a fortnight ago, President Trump appointed anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tobecome the Chairman of the Golden Vaccine Safety Task Force, and whose scathing manifesto titled MERCURY & VACCINES shocked the liberal elites in America who have for decades deliberately poisoned millions of children, while at the same time, in 1986, President Clinton signed a law called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that eliminated any liability to pharmaceutical manufacturers for their complicity in this crime against humanity.

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt4.jpg]

    Nearly immediately after President Trump appointed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head this vaccine-autism task force, this report continues, he then requested that Sally Yates become the Acting Attorney General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 20 January when he took power—which she accepted, and then nearly immediately afterwards returned to her home city of Atlanta where she empanelled a secret Grand Jury.

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt5.jpg]

    To Acting Attorney General Yates connection to President Trump, this report details, is through her “association/employment” with the international legal giant King & Spalding, who in turn created a partnership called Health Care and Life Sciences, in June,2014,with Trump’s mammoth, and feared, global private law firm Jones Day—and coming just 3 months after Trump Tweeted a series of cryptic warnings about vaccines that said:

    “If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but not allow one time massive shots that a child cannot take-AUTISM.”

    “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!”

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/rppp3.png]

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt2.png]

    And three months after the King & Spalding-Jones Day Health Care and Life Sciences partnership was created, this report notes, Trump further Tweeted:

    “I am being proven right about massive vaccinations-the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.”

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt1.jpg]

    As to Trump proclaiming that he was “proven right” about vaccines being linked to autism in September, 2014, this report explains, was due to the King & Spalding-Jones Day Health Care and Life Sciences partnership uncovering and protecting the CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson the month prior.

    With Dr. Thompson admitting to Trump’s lawyers that he worked on “fudged numbers” to lower the number of black children who were adversely affected by a certain type of vaccine, his telling how the CDC had committed research fraud with regard to manipulating the pivotal study that showed a correlation between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the onset of autism, and his revealing with secret documents smuggled out of the CDC how they were destroying all evidence proving the vaccine-autism link, this report continues, it was reported in early 2015 that the Obama regime had granted him protection, but that was never proven.

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt6.jpg]

    Raising the suspicions that Dr. Thompson was not being protected by the Obama regime, this report explains, was that right before the 2016 US presidential election that brought President Trump to power, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden blocked Dr. Thompson from testifying on scientific fraud and destruction of evidence by senior CDC officials in critical vaccine safety studies regarding the causative relationship between childhood vaccines and autism.

    Immediately upon taking power on 20 January, however, this report notes, President Trump fired Dr. Tom Frieden and installed Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat as the acting head of the CDC—who along with Dr. Thompson were the only two witnesses presented on Saturday (21 January) before the Atlanta secret Grand Jury called into session by Acting Attorney General Yates.

    With the massive raid conducted by the FBI on the CDC headquarters just hours ago (3:00 am US East Coast time), this report continues, it is apparent that from her secret Grand Jury proceedings, Acting Attorney General Yates was able to secure a warrant for this to happen—though this SVR reports section on this subject is more highly classified than this general report allows mentioning.

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt7.jpg]

    This report concludes by including information from the Ministry of Healthcare (MoH) about this matter that we had previously summarized by stating:

    President-elect Trump’s views on the linkage of childhood vaccines to autism have long been known, such as when he stated to CNN during a May, 2016 interview:

    “Autism has become an epidemic… Because you take a baby in, and I’ve seen it, and I’ve seen it, and I had my children taken care of, over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time, same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump – I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, two-years-old, two-and-a-half-years-old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic. …I’m in favor of vaccines [but] do them over a longer period of time, same amount, but just in little sections. I think you’re going to have – I think you’re going to see a big impact on autism.”

    And the many (and growing) rumors that President-elect Trump made his decision to run for president due to his youngest child, Barron, having been diagnosed with autism immediately after receiving a childhood vaccine shot in late 2013, and that his wife, Melania, has vowed to file lawsuits against anyone making such a claim—but who, nevertheless, will not be moving to the White House in order to keep her child out of the “media bubble” that surrounds all US presidents and their families.

    [http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/vvvt3.jpg]

    Other reports in this series include:

    ________________________________

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  3. Oh good grief, “Sorcha Faal” has been known, for years, to be some CIA propagandist – his location near Langley and even his name are public.

    I repeat: SORCHA FAAL is a fake name used by a CIA troll, not a “Kremlin Insider” nor anyone else whose mission it is to tell the truth.

    As for this article, it too is an example of propaganda, though much more amazingly convoluted than the clearly fake Sorcha Faal. Notice how the article associates the anti-protest legislation with Trump, though the recent protests,SO OBVIOUSLY ENGINEERED BY SOROS, were AGAINST Trump.

    It’s like NGO’s. They present themselves as being aid organizations but are almost always actually ways to infiltrate another country to disseminate whatever the banksters want disseminated. So when those countries kick out, say, the red cross, they’re accused of being against human rights.

    “Protest” is not the same as “block traffic.” Soros always pays extra for people to create a ruckus, loot, riot, burn limos, shoot at both sides, whatever he can and wants to do.

    Don’t be fooled by an article that basically encourages you to do something like shut down a freeway or otherwise endanger your or anyone else’s safety, in the name of “free speech.”

    Realize that virtually all large protests are funded by oligarchical trouble-makers. Did you notice how slick all the news and ads for the DAPL protest were and are? I don’t yet know what the rat in that operation is, but there is sure to be one, with that much high-tech publicity. Not that most of the people aren’t sincere. They are, and the cause is no doubt a real cause. But I so smell a rat. And hopefully you do too.

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