CALL TO ACTION: Protect Your Right To Protest

SEIZE YOUR ASSETS

On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the GOP Senate in Arizona voted to approve SB1142.  This bill gives “the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated” – even before anything turns bad.  Having this happen in a state where the House is also Republican by a 35:25 margin, it will more than likely pass.  And this law will then expand the racketeering law to encompass protesting, despite the fact that there are already laws on the books for rioting and rioters.

THEY’RE AFRAID OF US

We are housewives, engineers, salon operators, former bankers, marketing managers, switchboard operators, and grandmothers who call our legislators daily.  And we are the native, black, white, brown, white, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Pagan, Atheist, Unitarian, trans, gay, bi, het, cis, boy, girl, man, woman, chair-bound, walkers, runners, foodies, vegan, meat-eaters showing up in the streets for the first time.  We are the majority of Americans who are outraged daily by the administration’s relentless lies, religious bigotry, incompetence, constitutional offenses, and self-absorption.  We’re the paid protestors: we are paid in pink hats and cool t-shirt slogans.  If left to those who were just the organizers – some of whom might be paid – there would be a handful of people, not the thousands or tens of thousands we see at these events.

But Arizona is not the only state with bills which add additional criminal penalties to protesting.  18 OTHER STATES have introduced legislation, or lawmakers have announced their intention,  which add additional penalties to protesting.  These penalties can range from Arizona’s police seizing your home to prison time.  Many of these laws mix issues of civil disobedience with genuine protest and then apply that to anyone involved in a legitimate protest.  Others hold everyone involved with a protest event responsible for the criminal actions of individual rioters.  Arizona’s law: “By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events.”

FIND YOUR STATE

Christopher Ingraham’s article for Washington Post on February 24th outlines the various pieces of legislation moving through the legislatures of the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington state

It’s time to follow up on the bills introduced in your state.  After which, you know the drill, you need to contact your congresspeople and Senators.  Let them know you will not stand by while your rights to peacefully gather and protest are threatened by police action.

ORGANIZE AND SUMMARIZE

This Call to Action doesn’t have a specific script, but we can give some pointers.  When you’re reading about your state’s legislation, copy commentary from others which reads like something you could say. Once you have two or three sentences which summarize how you feel about the topic, organize them as you wish. While writing scripts, I often read them aloud to myself before I call.  Try to make your own Tweets as well, keeping to the 140 character limit.  Identify the key leaders of the opposition as well as the cosigners of the bills.  Look up their Twitter handles.

Here’s a Twitter tip if you’re new:  if you put a period (.) in front of the @ symbol, the tweet will then go directly to that individual, not to all the followers.

Try to make your own Tweets as well, keeping to the 140 character limit.  Identify the key leaders of the opposition as well as the cosigners of the bills.  Look up their Twitter handles.  Here’s a Twitter tip if you’re new:  place a period (.) in front of the @ symbol then the tweet goes directly to that individual, not to all the followers.

WANT TO DO MORE?

Our SuitUp Nation website offers over 100 Calls To Action posts to keep the momentum going! We’re a group of serious human rights and social activists who dedicate ourselves to taking down Trump and his deplorable administration!

Visit SuitUp Nation’s Facebook Group to join in the conversation and become part of the #SUN movement. Make sure to let us know when you’ve taken action! Leave us a comment on our Facebook Page! Tell everyone you’re a bad a** activist who’s standing up for Human Rights all over North America!