On Wednesday, Washington state Republican Senator Doug Ericksen announced a bill that would propose stricter penalties for people who participate in “illegal protests.”
The bill, which he says has been prepared for the next legislative session, would propose a new crime called “economic terrorism” in which protesters can be considered terrorists for trying to coerce civilians or the government by obscuring economic activity.
“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.”
The law, he insisted, would not apply to lawful protests such as strikes and picketing.
Additionally, accomplices to charges of “economic terrorism” would be forced to pay damages, up to three times the amount of damage caused.
“We are not just going after the people who commit these acts of terrorism,” Ericksen said. “We are going after the people who fund them. Wealthy donors should not feel safe in disrupting middle class jobs.”
Source: The Grio