Their goal seems to stop protests around the country against racial injustices like Black Lives Matter ones?
In the last year there have been violent protests by black and white groups that have turned violent….Washington DC protest (Riot?)
But the laws seem to aimed at ‘anti-RIOT actions and protests’ in general…
Some?…. One would assume , will be challenged in court as anti-First Amendment Free Speech efforts….
Mass arrests would probably NOT work since they would overtax local and state facilities….And would increase costs and legal liability for those places….
But the laws ARE aimed at certain groups one would assume…
So far, Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma are the only states to pass “anti-riot” legislation. Oklahoma’s governor approved its “anti-riot” bill, HB 1674, on Wednesday.
Many of the sponsors of these bills maintain that they’re not targeting peaceful protesters but those responsible for violent riots that lead to looting and widespread property damage. However, research shows that the vast majority of demonstrations over the summer were peaceful.
“This country was built on lawful protest, and it’s something that we must maintain — our citizens’ right to do so,” Kentucky Republican State Sen. Danny Carroll said earlier this year at a hearing. Carroll sponsored Kentucky’s measure in the state’s Senate. “What this deals with are those who cross the line and commit criminal acts.”
But critics say that these bills are an overreach that will end up doing much more than what bill sponsors say they will. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, in a statement to POLITICO, wrote that the current slate of legislature would, if approved, grant immunity to those who attack peaceful protesters and shifts the focus from pro-Trump supporters who raided the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“We are seeing Republicans conflate our movement with the white supremacist rioters who attacked the Capitol,” Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation stated. “This poses a real and direct threat to Black people who are organizing for liberation.”
Democratic lawmakers have also criticized these bills because of the impact enhanced sentences will have on the country’s existing mass incarceration rate. By June last year, the tally of arrested protesters had already reached 10,000 on charges such as violating curfew, burglary and looting. It’s unclear how many, if any, were convicted.
Increased jail time means that states will have to spend more money housing inmates, which can affect state economies. The ACLU of Florida estimates that longer prison time could lead anywhere from $2.7 to $7.2 million in increased spending for the state. In total, the estimated economic impact of this bill could cost the state, and its residents, up to $67.1 million…..