Where Anti-Protest Bills Have Been Introduced in State Legislatures

In response to epic protests around the country, some state legislators are proposing unconstitutional bills that would restrict people’s right to protest. This map rounds up the bills that have been introduced as of March 1, 2017. The ACLU will fight in statehouses against any bill that violates the First Amendment, and for any that become law, we’re hopeful the courts will see these bills for what they are: unlawful infringements on our right to speak. Learn more in this blog post.

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Arizona

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Would add “rioting” to organized crime statutes, thereby making participation in or organization of a protest that turns into a riot a criminal racketeering offense; would also enable police to seize the assets of anyone involved in a protest that at some point becomes violent and would enable prosecutors to charge individuals who was not involved in the riot.

Colorado

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Would punish environmental protesters with up to 18 months in prison and/or $100,000 in fines (i.e., reclassifies obstructing or tampering with oil and gas equipment from a misdemeanor to a class 6 felony).
    • Engrossed Feb. 27

Florida

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

Georgia

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Would increase penalties for blocking any highway, street, sidewalk, or other public passage to a high and aggravated misdemeanor. Part of a broader “Back the Badge” (i.e., police officers) bill.

Indiana

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

Iowa

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

Michigan

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Anti-picketing law that would increase penalties for picketing and would allow companies to file complaints about pickets without having to show any actual business harm
  • Anti-union law that would repeal a law that requires employers to include information about an ongoing strike when they advertise to hire employees who will replace employees who are on strike).
    • These proposed bills passed the house, but have now been shelved. 

Minnesota

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

North Dakota

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

Oklahoma

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Would punish protestors who trespass on “critical infrastructure” like pipelines and railways with up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison, as well as a $1 million fine for any organization “found to be a conspirator” in occupations that damage or intend to damage or inhibit such operations.

Oregon

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

South Dakota

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Would enable the governor to respond to protests with his emergency powers, which include the ability to seize private property without a warrant; control movement inside and into/out of the protest; suspend state agency rules; commandeer resources of political subdivisions; and authorize unlimited state spending. Would also criminalize standing in the highway to stop traffic.

Tennessee

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

Virginia

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

Washington

States With Anti-Protest Bills Introduced

  • Would create a crime of “economic terrorism” that would make any protests aimed at causing economic damage or disrupting traffic or commerce a felony.

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