Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:
A new Senate Bill in Georgia is leading the charge in punishing peaceful protest. Senate Bill 469 amends laws relating to labor organizations and relations to “provide that certain provisions prohibiting mass picketing shall apply to certain private residences…provide for an action to enjoin unlawful mass picketing…and provide for both criminal trespass and criminal conspiracy” with punishment and fines (h/t Sarah Jaffe at Alternet).
The bill makes it unlawful for persons to engage in picketing where “a labor dispute exists” in numbers that would block any kind of transportation or entrances to buildings or interrupt “quiet enjoyment.” In addition, planning such a direct action or protest would also become a crime – “conspiracy to commit criminal trespass.” In other words, a protest action such as a march or occupation of a building or protest around a private residence will be an arrestable offense, as well as planning such an action. The possible punishment includes a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail.
Eric Robertson, Political Director for Georgia Teamsters Local 728 told Alternet “This bill is obviously a an attack on working people and anyone who believes in organizing for justice. It undermines civil liberties, and clearly is designed to cripple working peoples’ ability to organize and build organizations to improve their working conditions.”
Read the full post at Diatribe Media