US Congress Expands New Anti-Protest Law

(También en Español)

News of Note: US Congress expands authoritarian anti-protest law

A bill passed Monday in the US House of Representatives and Thursday in the Senate would expand existing anti-protest laws that make it a felony—a serious criminal offense punishable by a lengthy prison term—to “enter or remain in” an area designated as “restricted.”

The bill—H.R. 347, or the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011”—was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate, while only Ron Paul and two other Republicans voted against the bill in the House of Representatives (the bill passed 388-3). Not a single Democratic politician voted against the bill.

What about our 1st Amendment right to peaceful assembly? With the Occupy movement sweeping the globe last year and the US Presidential election continuing to gain momentum, this bill has come at just the right time to squash any civil response or resistance. As John F. Kennedy famously said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” I hope that it doesn’t ever have to come to that.

Creative Commons image by: Lutz