Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 36 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/17/21

New GOP war on democracy targets protest rights

Message Will Bunch
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

From Inquirer

Police Officers
Police Officers
(Image by diana_robinson from flickr)
  Details   DMCA

The massive marches against racial injustice and police violence after 2020's killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Protests on Native American land against the Dakota Access pipeline. The January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Arguably, these three events have little in common with each other, except that now they've inspired some bad ideas and worse legislation in a number of statehouses and on Capitol Hill most, although not all, from Republicans that would criminalize one of the most fundamental rights in American democracy, to dissent against the government.

The biggest gut punch to the American Experiment came last week in Kentucky, which just this Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the senseless killing of Louisville's Taylor, a 26-year-old ER technician who was gunned down in a police drug raid gone horribly wrong. It's bad enough that none of the responding officers has been charged in her death. But now state legislators in conservative Kentucky, which has seen continuous protests since the killing, have advanced a law of dubious constitutionality to make it illegal to say bad things to a cop.

The bill that the Kentucky Senate passed last week makes it a misdemeanor to taunt a police officer, with words or gestures, "that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person." In the past, state jurists and the U.S. Supreme Court have cited the 1st Amendment in finding that it's not a crime to say rude things or even curse at a police officer, but now the Bluegrass State is saying that if you flip the bird at a cop and he tries to bash in your skull, the whole thing was your fault.

Although the anti-taunting-the-police provision garnered the most headlines, the Kentucky bill also expands the definition of illegal protest while strengthening the penalties for "rioting" and making it harder to get out of jail, and it even includes some vague language intended to thwart the "defund the police" movement. If the bill passes the state House and is signed by the state's Democratic governor, Andy Beshear (an uncertain prospect), it would surely put more people behind bars for protesting the killing of Breonna Taylor than people who actually killed her.

Click Here to Read Whole Article

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Will Bunch Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Will Bunch is author of the new "Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future", published by Free Press, which examines the calculated effort by the modern right wing to canonize the 40th president, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What Battered Newsrooms Can Learn From Stewart's CNBC Takedown

It May Take 27 Years to Undo the Damage Glenn Beck Caused in 27 Months

Mitch McConnell gets his own chapter in the story of America's dying democracy. And it's devastating

Big media's shameful news brownout on the Wall Street protests

A Pennsylvanian's Guide to the Rick Santorum You Don't Know

She Warned America That Russia Hacked Our Voting Rolls. Why Is She In Jail?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend