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Protect Freedom of Speech

Bills Across The Country Could Increase Penalties For Protesters

From NPR3

The reaction to protests is appearing in a number of Republican-controlled statehouses across the country, where lawmakers are introducing proposals to increase penalties for those who block roadways while protesting.

Iowa: Bill introduced which would apply to people blocking highways with speeds posted above 55 mph. Violators could get a felony and spend five years in prison, plus a fine of up to $7,500.

North Dakota: A lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow motorists to run over and kill any protester obstructing a highway as long as the driver did not do it intentionally.

Michigan and Washington: Bills that would increase penalties on unauthorized protests have also been introduced.

Minnesota: A House committee approved legislation that would increase penalties and charge demonstrators the cost of policing protests.

photo-wall-first-amendment Photo by Kelley Root Guthrie

"We need a free press. We must have it. It's vital." —John McCain, 2.17.17

Organizations

Committee to Protect Journalists. (This is the org Meryl Streep mentioned in her Golden Globes speech 1/8/2017.) Independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. We defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.

Sources

1. Felony Charges for Journalists Arrested at Inauguration Protests Raise Fears for Press Freedom, JONAH ENGEL BROMWICH, NY Times, Jan 25, 2017.

2. Journalists charged with rioting in Washington, CPJ.org, Jan 24, 2017.

3. Bills Across The Country Could Increase Penalties For Protesters, NPR, January 31, 2017.