Protesters Interrupt Oklahoma House Session Over ‘Anti-Riot’ Bill That Grants Immunity To Drivers Who Run Over Protesters
A group of protesters interrupted a session at the Oklahoma House of Representatives to oppose the latest Republican-backed law that offers immunity to those who run over people in the street.
Earlier this week, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a new ‘anti-protest’ bill that could help protect those that hit protesters with their cars during a ‘riot’. The legislation promised to crack down on ‘rioting’ and outlined how it would help the police and offer harsher punishments to anyone who partook in what they defined as a ‘riot’, meaning more stern criminal action against anyone engaging physically with police.
The move has been widely criticised, with people left concerned that anyone who drove into protesters standing in the street would face no legal or criminal action.
On Wednesday, April 21, more than 20 Black Lives Matters protesters arrived at Oklahoma’s House of Representatives to voice their dismay at what the bill means, and the protection it grants to anyone who knocks over and kills people in the road.
Watch footage of the protesters entering the chambers, below:
The group arrived to protest a number of bills, including the aforementioned one that allowed those who hit and run to leave the scene of the crime. They also were there to oppose the law that would disqualify trans women from taking part in women’s sports.
No arrests were made and the protest remained peaceful and well-spirited. Before long, they had been removed from the building and the session was able to continue.
Governor Kevin Stitt also signed the controversial immunity bill on Wednesday that also permits much stronger sentences, including making blocking a road via a protest punishable as a misdemeanor, which can mean up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. More shockingly, though, the bill would grant immunity to anyone said to be fleeing the area of a protest or ‘riot’ if they were to strike a human on the way.
It’s widely believed by its critics that the bill’s intention is to suppress a person’s right, and more so ability to protest freely, adding these severe penalties and deterrents that some are calling a violation of their constitutional right to free speech and to assemble.
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