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State Lawmaker Proposes Stiffer Penalties for Protesters Who Block Roads

A common tactic of protesters in recent years has been to block major highways to get massive media coverage and spread their massage throughout America.

Instead of rallying Americans to their cause, these forms of protest have actually turned a great many Americans against the protesters because what they are doing is incredibly unsafe.

One Minnesota lawmaker, Republican state Rep. Kathy Lohmer, has introduced legislation that would increase the penalty for any protesters who tried to block traffic in future protests, KARE reported.

Currently, blocking a highway in Minnesota is only a “simple misdemeanor,” which is punished by 90 days in jail, maximum, and a $1,000 fine. Under Lohmer’s new bill, the charge would be upgraded to a “gross misdemeanor.”

This upgrade would increase the jail time to a maximum of one year, and the fine to $3,000. This theoretically should act as a deterrent to anyone looking to cause trouble in the future.

“People worry about if they’re in an ambulance trying to get to the hospital, they’re in a car trying to get to the airport or trying to visit someone who’s sick and dying, they can’t get where they need to go,” Lohmer told KARE.

Alpha News MN noted that Minnesota has had to deal with many highway blocking protests recently, included several over office-involved shootings, and an anti-Trump protest in November.

The ACLU and civil rights attorneys have expressed concern over the bill, claiming that it limits the ability to protesters to exercise their rights, CBS Minnesota reported.

We all have the right to protest in this country, but we do not have the right to endanger other people’s lives and stop commerce.

Protesting on a highway is a dangerous thing to do. Hopefully, this legislation will pass and other states follow suit.