GOP Pushing a Bill Allowing Protestors to be Charged as Terrorists.

Washington State Sen. Doug Ericksen said Wednesday he is preparing a bill that would create a new crime of “economic terrorism” that would allow felony prosecution of protesters who block streets, cause property damage, threaten jobs and put public safety at risk.

“I respect the right to protest, but when it endangers people’s lives and property, it goes too far,” the Republican said in a news release. “Fear, intimidation and vandalism are not a legitimate form of political expression. Those who employ it must be called to account.”

Ericksen said the bill, which is being prepared for next year’s legislative session, would allow felony prosecution “of those who intentionally break the law in an attempt to intimidate or coerce private citizens or the government by obstructing economic activity.”

Doug Honig, of the ACLU of Washington, said in reaction:  “The statement throws out a lot of broad rhetoric, and we’ll need to see an actual bill.  But we’re already concerned that some of its loose terms  appear to be targeting  civil disobedience as ‘terrorism.’  That’s the kind of excessive approach to peaceful protest that our country and state do not need.”

“Let’s keep in mind that civil rights protesters who sat down at lunch counters could be seen as ‘disrupting business’ and ‘obstructing economic activity,’ and their courageous actions were opposed by segregationists as trying to ‘coerce business and government.’”

  1. It seems as though people that have protested are now being punished for not agreeing with the Republican party. It is known that often there are outsiders that will come in to instigate trouble because they have their own agenda. In doing so it makes the peaceful appear violent. I do not agree with this Senator. More information, more statistics on the amount of so-called damage of property, proof of those who are actually doing the damage, etc. This is not a well thought out decision.


  2. Christopher A Lane February 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    If you block streets, and cause property damage, then yes, yes you are being a terrorist. Harsh penalties for people who block roadways or cause property damage under the guise of “protesting” would make me smile every time I see idiots blocking streets or torching homes and businesses or looting. Those people are only protesting their lack of morals and money, nothing more.


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