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Anti-protest Bills

Climate Activists Are Learning How To Protect Their Protest Rights

In November, a significant event unfolded at the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, New South Wales when 3,000 people gathered to block coal shipments in and out of the Australian port. When activists remained on the water past the approved 4 p.m. blockade cut-off, 109 people were arrested. Rising Tide spokesperson Alexa Stuart explained the group’s rationale, stating that “If the government will not take action on climate change, the people will use civil disobedience. We wish we did not have to do this, but [Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government] needs to understand we are serious.” Fast forward a mere three months and this mass arrest has been met with substantial judicial restraint.

Anti-Protest Laws Are Not About Safety, But About Silencing Dissent

At least 42 people who have protested the building of an 85-acre, $90 million police training facility in Atlanta, Georgia, have been charged with domestic terrorism. While demonstrators always fear being criminalized for exercising their constitutional right to stage protests, being charged with domestic terrorism has a particularly chilling effect. The move to charge protesters with domestic terrorism comes months after one protester, Manuel Paez Terán (who went by the name Tortuguita), was killed by police. Across the United States, we are seeing a rise in laws that seek to squelch and criminalize protests.
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