The extractive industry is afraid. Concern about climate chaos, and opposition to their pipelines and fracking is growing. Rather than address concerns about the environment, they want to make their critics shut up. So they lobby legislators to pass bills silence the opposition.
Ohio’s SB33 would dramatically increase penalties for peaceful protests and civil disobedience at pipeline and other so-called “critical infrastructure” sites, and impose HUGE fines on groups that support protests.
Throughout the states that saw major teacher strikes, retaliation has come in the form of threatening freedom of speech, assembly, and association. The goal of many of the laws are not only to make striking illegal, but to use the very communities that teachers struck for as political fodder.
A diverse coalition of environment, civil liberties, community organizations, and unions worked together to defeat HB1633, an ALEC-inspired, industry-supported bill that took direct aim at peaceful, non-violent protests to protect the environment, particularly civil disobedience.
As draconian anti-protest bills, known as ‘critical infrastructure’ bills, make their way through state legislatures in Illinois and Texas, coalitions in both states are growing and becoming more vocal in opposition.
Elected officials in South Dakota aren’t even trying to hide their cozy relationship with TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline.
The People’s Lobby, Sierra Club and environmental justice leaders from around the city spoke out at a press conference yesterday against HR1633. The bill is designed to squash anti-pipeline protests with a mix of draconian fines and jail time for peaceful civil disobedience.
City Council resolution provides a model for other states fighting similar bills.