From the Standing Rock camps in North Dakota to tree-sits in Texas, activists have attempted to stop pipeline construction with massive shows of civil disobedience. Now they could be forced to change those tactics, or face heavy penalties under a wave of new anti-protest laws that civil liberties advocates say violate the first amendment.
Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests that disrupt the construction and operation of pipelines in at least 18 states since 2017.
Seven states have passed laws that ratchet up the penalties for activists protesting or even planning protests of oil and gas pipelines and other “critical infrastructure”
At least six more states are considering such laws
In each case, misdemeanors are elevated to felonies, and criminal and civil punishments are escalated drastically
The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have mounted challenges against such laws in Louisiana and South Dakota.
Article source: The Guardian