ElectionIn The News

Lawmakers take advantage of protests to introduce terrorism laws

A Washington state lawmaker wants to criminalize protests like those that have sprung up around the country against the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

“I respect the right to protest, but when it endangers people’s lives and property, it goes too far,” Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen, a Republican, said in a statement. “Fear, intimidation and vandalism are not a legitimate form of political expression. Those who employ it must be called to account.”

Ericksen, a Trump supporter, is preparing the bill for the 2017 legislative session. It would create a new crime — economic terrorism — and make it a felony for anyone to take part in a protest aimed at disrupting economic activity that also threatens human life and property, according to the lawmaker’s office. The law also would apply to anyone who funds, sponsors or organizes such protests, the statement read.

His comments come in the wake of protests that have sprung up across the country since last week, when Trump won 290 electoral votes compared to Hillary Clinton’s 232. Many of the protests have disrupted traffic and shut down highways or busy commercial neighborhoods, and many have been led by high school students.

Read more at USA Today.

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