Washington state senator seeks to criminalize ‘illegal’ protests
Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen is proposing a new law to punish what he calls “economic terrorism.”
Ericksen’s office wrote in a news release that “Washington needs to take a firm stand against illegal protests that block transportation and commerce, cause property damage, threaten jobs and put public safety at risk.”
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His proposal comes after thousands in Washington protested the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. And after Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant called for a nationwide shutdown on presidential inauguration day in January.
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Ericksen served as the deputy director of the Trump campaign in our state.
His plan would create a Class C felony that applies to those who protest illegally and the people who “fund, organize and sponsor” those protests.
“I respect the right to protest, but when it endangers people’s lives and property, it goes too far,” Ericksen said. “Fear, intimidation and vandalism are not a legitimate form of political expression. Those who employ it must be called to account.”