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Proposed New Bill Would Charge Protesters With “Economic Terrorism”

Proposed New Bill Would Charge Protesters With “Economic Terrorism”
Race Soldier Doug Ericksen.

AFRICANGLOBE – Rather than working to abolish some of the thousands of illogical, irrational laws in the United States criminalizing ordinary, mundane behavior, one legislator dreamed up yet another means to give us a criminal record — “economic terrorism.”

Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen’s new bill, however, only hazily concerns economics. Instead, the proposed legislation — dressed in the sheep’s clothing of criminalizing rioting — constitutes a predatory attack on First Amendment-protected activity: protests.

Ericksen has prepared a bill for next year’s legislative session that would create a new crime of economic terrorism,”the senator’s website states. “The measure 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.”

Ericksen is apparently sick to death of protests — peaceful or otherwise — and hopes to target activists who occasionally disrupt the flow of commerce or block traffic. Such demonstrations — whatever ire they provoke from those who would rather maintain a routine of sleep, work, eat, repeat — often represent the sole outlet for people who feel their grievances have fallen on lawmakers’ deaf ears.

In the First Amendment to the Constitution, that’s the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

As Fox News pointed out when introducing Ericksen for an interview recently, looting, rioting, property destruction, and the like — what the bill appears superficially to target — are already illegal. Whether that makes the soon-to-be-proposed legislation redundant or belies its true and underlying intent to make Constitutionally-protected protest illegal appears to be an alarmingly open question.

“The first thing to be clear about, is that you have the right to protest,” he told the hosts on Fox News, “and you can protest Mr. Trump all you want, you can misspell fascism on a sign and carry it around the streets. That’s not what we’re goin’ after.

“What we’re targeting are the people who take it to the next level — you have a right to protest, you do not have a right to do harm, to people or to personal property. And this is intended to protect the citizens of my state and people around the country from those that get out of control, or from the organizers of these protests that get out of control.”

 

However, Ericksen has quite the narrow definition for ‘acceptable’ forms of protest, according to his site, the “measure would create a class C felony when protests aimed at causing economic disruption jeopardize human life and property. It would not apply in cases of lawful and protected activities, such as strikes and picketing.”

In other words, he has no problem with people walking off the job and marching with signs to, for instance, force employers into bargaining for better wages — but that’s about it — and no less ironically so, considering strikes and picketing inflict economic damage from lost labor.

“A lot of people misunderstand [this bill], they think it’s an assault on the right to protest, which it’s not,” Ericksen continued. “It’s basically just saying, ‘You cannot harm other people.’ And in Washington State, we’re seeing organized groups forming to abuse the protest system against our energy infrastructure; and that’s really where this bill started from.”

That last point, the impetus for crafting legislation to criminalize constitutionally-protected behavior, markedly demonstrates the potential for the law to be applied with too broad a brush.

For instance, should legislators in North Dakota decide to draft a copycat measure, every water protector from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and each supporter hoping to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline could be considered an ‘economic terrorist’ — despite the pipeline’s intended transportation of crude for export.

Indeed that’s the danger inherent in vaguely but vociferously worded legislation — the tangible potential it will be misinterpreted, or perhaps interpreted correctly, and used against those who otherwise follow prohibitions on violence and property destruction in protesting.

Similarly poorly thought out legislation has already been tested in Oklahoma — with predictably astonishing results.

Environmental activists Moriah Stephenson and Stefan Warner were arrested and charged with committing a “terrorism hoax” after unfurling a glitter-laden banner at the Oklahoma City headquarters of fracking giant, Devon Energy. Neither perpetrated any violence. Neither vandalized or destroyed property. Neither harmed anyone nor anything.

But Stephenson and Warner each initially faced a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, in the first test of the nascent state law. Eventually, the “terrorism hoax” charges were downgraded to disorderly conduct, and ultimately dismissed — but what came to be called ‘glittergate’ stretched the bounds of interpretation of law, particularly in regard to terrorism, and present a prime example for why Ericksen’s legislation is not just unnecessary, it’s dangerously chilling for constitutional rights.

As TechDirt aptly pointed out, the state senator has not provided information indicating who, precisely, would determine when protesting crosses the line into “economic terrorism,” and that could have indescribably terrible results.

“Great. Let’s just leave that in the hands of law enforcement, which has always been wonderful when allowed to exercise its own discretion,” Tim Cushing snarkily wrote for TechDirt. “Give them a ‘blue lives matter’ law and they’ll throw the book at every drunken arrestee who calls them names. Give them the latitude to decide when picketing crosses into ‘economic terrorism,’ and I’m sure they’ll make the right call.”

Indeed, because Ericksen’s bill — conceived as an indignant response to anti-Trump protests in Washington and around the country — is so loosely structured and ambiguous, it’s likely not to pass at all, no matter the support he claims to have received.

“Would it apply to a Trump protest? If they take it too far, it would apply to ‘em,” Ericksen told Fox News.

A statement from the American Civil Liberties Union Communications Director Doug Hong, cited by Fox News, said, “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.”

Ericksen’s response to that statement prove even he fails to comprehend the legislation he’s proposing. In fact, the example the senator highlighted as protected under the “economic terrorism” bill — lunch counter protests of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s — disrupted economic activity by design. Which is why those protests greatly contributed to a favorable outcome — African Americans disrupted businesses, hitting owners in their wallets, to affect serious reform.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail in the Washington State Legislature when the bill is formally proposed — and lawmakers will have the foresight to see the exceedingly negative repercussions of criminalizing protest.

 

By: Claire Bernish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

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Senators Demand the Military Lock Up of American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

After spending months threatening a veto, the president decides to codify the first such bill since the 1950s VIDEO

Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law

President Barack Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. (Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By Chris Anders, Deputy Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
NOVEMBER 23, 2011 | 10:46 AM
 

UPDATE III: The Senate rejected the Udall amendment 38-60.

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

UPDATE I: Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.

But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”

There you have it — indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. And the Senate is likely to vote on it Monday or Tuesday.

UPDATE II: The debate on NDAA has begun. Your Senator needs to hear from you RIGHT NOW! >>

Learn more about detention: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Kocolicious posted:

  Sounds like he's trying to introduce a bill like China's where they ARREST and JAIL students/citizens for protesting.  But we already have laws against inciting riots but this is another way to imprison blacks and others who demonstrate against the govt.  They are being so sneaky but clearly not smart.  But! 

 

What he is proposing is not only UNCONSTITUTIONAL, but also, the literal embodiment of Fascism.

Group Funded By Trump’s Education Secretary Pick: ‘Bring Back Child Labor’

This raises serious questions about the woman who would potentially be in charge of U.S. public schools.

11/24/2016 09:30 am ET
ASSOCIATED PRESS
 

A think tank funded by Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education pick recently advocated for putting kids back in the workforce.

The Acton Institute, a conservative nonprofit that is said to have received thousands of dollars in donations from Betsy DeVos and her family, posted an essay to its blog this month that called child labor “a gift our kids can handle.”

“Let us not just teach our children to play hard and study well, shuffling them through a long line of hobbies and electives and educational activities,” said the post’s author, Joseph Sunde. “A long day’s work and a load of sweat have plenty to teach as well.” 

Child labor isn’t universally forbidden in the U.S.― actors and newspaper deliverers are two exceptions― butit is tightly regulated. 

 

DeVos was a member of Acton’s Board of Directors for 10 years and while it’s unclear how much influence she currently has on the organization, its homepage now prominently features a message congratulating DeVos on her nomination. 

The essay raises serious questions about the woman who would potentially be in charge of U.S. public schools. Education advocates have already expressed concern about DeVos’ history of supporting school voucher programs.

“In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said

“She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense,” the National Education Association said. “These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education.”

Trump’s team did not immediately return a request for comment.

 
 
Kocolicious posted:

Group Funded By Trump’s Education Secretary Pick: ‘Bring Back Child Labor’

This raises serious questions about the woman who would potentially be in charge of U.S. public schools.

11/24/2016 09:30 am ET
ASSOCIATED PRESS
 

A think tank funded by Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education pick recently advocated for putting kids back in the workforce.

The Acton Institute, a conservative nonprofit that is said to have received thousands of dollars in donations from Betsy DeVos and her family, posted an essay to its blog this month that called child labor “a gift our kids can handle.”

“Let us not just teach our children to play hard and study well, shuffling them through a long line of hobbies and electives and educational activities,” said the post’s author, Joseph Sunde. “A long day’s work and a load of sweat have plenty to teach as well.” 

Child labor isn’t universally forbidden in the U.S.― actors and newspaper deliverers are two exceptions― butit is tightly regulated. 

 

DeVos was a member of Acton’s Board of Directors for 10 years and while it’s unclear how much influence she currently has on the organization, its homepage now prominently features a message congratulating DeVos on her nomination. 

The essay raises serious questions about the woman who would potentially be in charge of U.S. public schools. Education advocates have already expressed concern about DeVos’ history of supporting school voucher programs.

“In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said

“She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense,” the National Education Association said. “These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education.”

Trump’s team did not immediately return a request for comment.

 
 

The new Education cabinet likes vouchers but will not improve public schools. The new EPA cabinet will be run by a person who cares nothing for the environment and so on. If you go outside, you may be seen as an enemy combatant if you do not praise the Supreme Leader. 

"The new Education cabinet likes vouchers but will not improve public schools. The new EPA cabinet will be run by a person who cares nothing for the environment and so on. If you go outside, you may be seen as an enemy combatant if you do not praise the Supreme Leader. "

***********************************************************

 

That is exactly where republicans and Trump are taking this country.

Unfortunately, there are still too many White Americans who actually believe they won't be hurt by the Nazi, Totalitarian, Police State, government they are trying to replace the American government with.

 

Last edited by sunnubian

  Currently there are 32 million Americans who can't read or write.  Something is wrong with that picture true.  However, when this woman starts cutting public school funds more?  The number of Americans unable to read or write will soar.  And this what Trump wants.  He is dismantling every element in American way of life piece by piece.  CANNOT LET HIM DO IT WITHOUT A FIGHT cuz his focking arrogance convinces him Americans are gonna let him do it.  The world's been down the road.  So  there's really no need to reenter a burning barn....however, time will tell exactly what's gon happen.  And it happens?  It's gonna SURPRISE everybody....even Trump.  He wants folks to think he has America by the balls.  As usual....it's his arrogance that's saying that.  So.  The movers and shakers?  Your turn.   BTW:  I am still pissed off at the 53 percent white women who burned their bras in the 70s to end up trading their human rights for white privilege. As well as the black millennials who did not vote.  Already scholars are talking about this BIG mistake on both groups' part.  We wouldn't be in this state of horror if it had not been for THEM!  But!

Last edited by Kocolicious

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