Republicans in Congress are using the right-wing insurrection on January 6 as an excuse for bills targeted primarily at peaceful protesters like Black Lives Matter.
Republicans never miss an opportunity to use a crisis to rat-fuck the country, do they?
In September, Florida governor and Trump ally Ron DeSantis proposed a bill dubbed the Combating Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act to create new criminal penalties for offenses commonly committed during protests. He said it was needed to stop the “professional agitators bent on sowing disorder and causing mayhem in our cities” following months of largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.
Hours after a far-right mob stormed the Capitol at the behest of the president, Florida Republicans introduced a version of the bill. That night, DeSantis said the violence in Washington shows that lawmakers “have no time to waste to uphold public safety” and must “swiftly pass this bill.”
DeSantis isn’t alone. Within the past year, lawmakers in 24 states have introduced at least 45 bills to create new penalties or increase criminal penalties for offenses related to protesting, discourage cuts to police funding, and provide protections to people who drive their cars into protesters or shoot protesters in an alleged act of self defense. Six of those bills—one in Utah, one in Mississippi, one in West Virginia, one in Tennessee and two in South Dakota—have been signed into law.
But the bills aren’t aimed at reining in the kind of violent insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol, and federal prosecutors already have a litany of charges at their disposal to hold the perpetrators accountable. The bills seek to criminalize conduct typically associated with Black Lives Matter protests, like blocking streets or highways and camping out at state capitols. Provisions of DeSantis’s bill seek to discourage local governments from cutting police budgets, but what happened on Jan. 6 can’t be pinned on a lack of police funding or intelligence—the FBI knew extremists were planning to commit violence in Washington days before, and Capitol Police rejected offers for additional manpower from the National Guard. While some police officers were brutally attacked or took action to protect the lives of others, others shook hands with a member of the mob. One police officer even took a selfie with the insurrectionists.
This is why I oppose changes to the current laws in response to the January 6 insurrection.
The people who will be enforcing these laws, cops, prosecutors, etc. are objectively pro-fascist and institutionally, if not necessarily personally, racist.
All that more laws get you is more opportunities for abuse.