Target: J.D. Mesnard, Speaker of Arizona’s House of Representatives
Goal: Do not pass bill that prosecutes protesters in the same way as terrorists.
Protesters may soon be prosecuted like terrorists in the state of Arizona thanks to a bill that recently passed the state Senate with Republican support. The bill, Senate Bill 1142, would prosecute rioting offenses under racketeering statutes, which are normally reserved for terrorism charges. Supporters of the bill claim that it is meant to discourage the participation of “paid protesters,” but with no evidence to support the paid protester theory, the bill appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to chill free speech in Arizona.
If this bill is passed by the state House of Representatives, protesters could be charged before they’ve even done anything, in much the same way that a person may be charged for planning to commit a crime under racketeering laws. This assault on free speech must be stopped. Tell Arizona’s representatives that exercising one’s First Amendment rights is not and should never be on par with terrorism by signing below.
Dear Representative Mesnard,
I strongly oppose Senate Bill 1142 because it is a direct threat to Arizonans’ First Amendment right. Despite what you and your peers seem to believe, the unrest that has gripped Americans since the presidential election and spilled into town halls and policymakers’ offices nationwide is not the result of “paid protesters.” People are protesting, not because they are being paid to do so, but because they fear for their rights. Their fear and anger are valid and should be listened to, rather than stifled with a restrictive bill that criminalizes free speech.
Senate Bill 1142 borders on unconstitutional and absolutely must not be allowed to pass. Please vote against this violation of the right to peaceful protest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Minister Erik McGregor