No, they aren’t going to take away people’s right to protest…peacefully. Rioting on the other hand, is a different matter. And Arizona has had enough. And we love it!
A bill was approved Wednesday in the Arizona Senate that sets out to tackle the rash of organized, violent riots we have seen break out lately.
The Daily Caller reported:
The Arizona Senate approved a bill Wednesday that makes organizing or merely participating in a protest that ends up violent, regardless of who perpetrated the violence, an offense that could lead to the seizure of property.
The measure would essentially mandate that anyone involved in a protest in which others ultimately engage in violence can be charged with criminal conspiracy or racketeering, according to U.S. News & World Report […]
Racketeering, in general, is the crime of conducting business in a fraudulent or dishonest manner. By incorporating rioting into racketeering laws, police can presumably arrest those planning the events […]
The pending legislation seems to allow police to arrest those who are planning events and protests, even if violent action is not part of the plan.
The Arizona bill states:
A person commits riot if, with two or more other persons acting together, such person recklessly uses force or violence or threatens to use force or violence, if such threat is accompanied by immediate power of execution, which either disturbs the public peace or results in damage to the property of another person.
The support/opposition to the bill followed party lines, with 17 Republicans in support and 13 Democrats opposed.
“I have been heartsick at what is going on in our country, what young people are being encouraged to do,” Republican Sen. Sylvia Allen told U.S. News & World Report. “And there’s a difference between a protest and a riot. And what we have been watching is riots.”
Arizona Senate Democrats reportedly think that the current laws on the books are sufficient and are concerned that these new laws could be abused.