Proposed Legislation from various states
Proposed in January/February 2017
Ever since the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump numerous states have introduced bills that have the potential to curb mass protests and demonstrations. The bills aim to toughen the penalties that protesters and demonstrators face when engaging in a protest event. The criminal penalties from the states range from increased fines and lengthier jail terms if convicted. Oregon is also debating mandatory expulsion from colleges and universities for a student convicted of participating in a violent riot while Arizona is considering police seizure of a person’s assets for participation in a violent protest. LEARN MORE
Lee Rowland of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a Washington Post article says the intent of these new legislative proposals is to “increase the penalties for protest – related activities to the point that it results in self – censorship among protesters who have every intention to obey the law.” Protesters now will have to think twice about whether they should head out and join in a march or demonstration event. The consequences of being barred from higher education, of financial loss and extended time in prison will cause fewer people to speak out and suppress discussion on important issues. LEARN MORE
- Bill of Rights & Dissent Defense Committee – A nonprofit organization protecting the right of political expression.
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – Repression of Peaceful Protest – Information page on repression of peaceful protest.
- First Amendment Center at the Newseum Institute – An institute focused on First Amendment issues.
This brief was compiled by Rod Maggay. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.