Marie Claire published a story recently entitled “Republican Legislators Propose a Series of Bills That Would Criminalize Peaceful Protests.” In this piece, the author, Gina Mei accuses Republican lawmakers in various states of trying to criminalize peaceful protests. Apparently, by implementing these laws, they are violating the free speech of protesters. Mei writes, “Republican legislators have been working hard to potentially make future peaceful protests a punishable offense.”
Gina Mei, as well as many others in the media, would like you to believe that this is some fascistic move on the part of Republicans. It’s an evil attempt to violate the free speech of leftist protestors.
Oh, and it’s racist. We shouldn’t forget that.
After all, what leftist argument would be complete without false accusations of racism? The author of the article goes on to write,
While neither specifically mentions Black Lives Matter or the Dakota Access Pipeline by name, it’s easy to see how both the proposed bills and the Trump administration’s stance feed a dangerous, violent narrative that targets smaller protests mostly consisting of people of color.
Yes. That’s exactly right. These malevolent purveyors of malicious legislation are passing these sinister laws because of – wait for it – racism. As usual, the media is using this story to cast aspersions on conservatives by misrepresenting the facts to perpetuate their deceitful narrative.
Now then, let’s get to the truth, shall we?
The laws being passed by Republican legislators are not an attempt to silence opposition. These laws are designed to keep protesters from obstructing traffic and encroaching on the rights of others, and to prevent protesters from making it harder for people to go about their everyday routines.
Every state has laws that make it illegal to stop people from getting where they need to go. These laws prevent people from obstructing traffic, blocking entrances to buildings, and harassing people as they try and go about their business. Simply put, the laws are there to keep people from being obnoxious jerks.
The states that are strengthening these types of laws are Minnesota, Indiana, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota, and Michigan. They are increasing the fines that are levied if these laws are broken. In some cases, protesters who are obstructing traffic could even be imprisoned.
Here’s the thing. Everyone has a right to protest. Our Constitution guarantees it. But protesters don’t have the right to infringe on people’s freedom of movement.
In an interview with Fox and Friends, Minnesota Republican State Representative Nick Zerwas told a story about a cancer patient who missed an important doctor’s appointment because protesters had blocked traffic. He said “They blocked the road for hours and she missed her appointment at the Mayo clinic. When she called to make another appointment, she was told she could get back in [to the clinic] in another three months.” This story serves as a powerful example of why these laws are essential.
The establishment media seems to believe that protesters should be able to rally any way they see fit, as long as they are engaging in a peaceful demonstration. However, when it comes to these types of laws, the issue is not whether the protest is peaceful; it’s whether the protesters are infringing on the rights of other people.
These legislators wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they did not ensure that American have the right to protest peacefully while also protecting the constitutional liberties of the rest of us.