GOP Legislatures Moving to Criminalize Dissent, Advocates Warn

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Bills recently introduced by Republican lawmakers in Florida, Mississippi and Indiana legislators this summer in order to appear tough on protests against police brutality could now be used to criminalize protest and deny people their civil liberties, reports The Intercept. Advocates warn that the three bills are only the tip of the iceberg and represent anti-protest laws “on steroids,” creating penalties for a wide array of activities, from damaging monuments to obstructing traffic.  The bills include measures that could encourage harsh law enforcement responses to protests, prevent local governments from reducing police funding, broaden the definition of rioting, and allow certain states to strip unemployment benefits from anyone who pleads guilty to participating in disruptive protests.

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