This is a huge leap in the WRONG direction; Criminalizing Dissent...
Tesnim Zekeria and Rebecca Crosby, Nov 7, 2023
Full Article: https://popular.info/p/criminalizing-dissent
This could set a very dangerous legal precedent against our 1st amendment constitutional right to protest....
Sixty-one activists appeared before Fulton County Court yesterday on racketeering charges related to their protest of Atlantas new Public Safety Training Center, commonly known as Cop City. The arraignment comes after the Georgia Attorney Generals Office alleged, in September, that defendants were conspiring to violate the states Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. If convicted, each Stop Cop City activist could face up to 20 years in prison even those who are alleged to have participated in non-violent protests. Experts worry that its the latest tactic by Georgia officials to stifle political dissent.
The 109-page RICO indictment lumps together vague allegations of non-violent conduct with more serious charges of violence. The indictment, for example, cites numerous protesters for "trespassing" and join[ing] an organized mob of individuals designed to overwhelm the police force in an attempt to occupy the DeKalb forest and cause property damage, describing it as an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Notably, the indictment does not allege these specific individuals caused any property damage or overwhelmed the police. But the indictment claims that was their intention. Trespassing is a crime, but not one that typically comes with a 20-year prison sentence. Other acts "in furtherance of the conspiracy" include being reimbursed for camping supplies, kitchen utensils, and glue.
"We are extremely concerned by this breathtakingly broad and unprecedented use of state terrorism, anti-racketeering, and money laundering laws against protesters, Senior Staff Attorney for ACLUs National Security Project Aamra Ahmad said in the statement. Georgia law enforcement officials are disproportionately wielding these overbroad laws to stigmatize and target those who disagree with the government.
Other groups that denounced the indictment include the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights, who both argued that the RICO charges were intended to silence protestors. The National Lawyers Guild argued that the indictment is intended to serve a political end to silence the protest movement, to prevent it from having access to attorneys, bail support and even legal observation, stating that the charges were meant to portray a popular movement as an unlawful conspiracy. The Center for Constitutional Rights argued that, [l]ike anti-terrorism statutes, RICO laws, in their vagueness and elasticity, are dangerous weapons in the hands of prosecutors and corporations bent on silencing dissent.
More at Full Article: https://popular.info/p/criminalizing-dissent
on Day One. They want a dictatorship, strongman rule and no dissenting voices.
RICO laws are being used to prosecute Trump. Now RICO laws are being used to prosecute protesters. I wonder if the intention is to take the teeth out of RICO laws before Trump's trial, by taking the matter to the GA Supreme Court.
and intention to interfere with certification of an election and threatening the safety and lives of legislators. One is dissent and the other is insurrection.
The RICO laws have been used in a unique manner in Georgia prior to the case against Trump. Look at their use in the Atlanta Teachers cheating scandal, where they were used against a group of public school teachers in controversial manner.
ALEC has been a driving force behind efforts to criminalize protest and investigative journalism. Ag-gag laws are one example. Anti-BDS clauses are another. At the Standing Rock pipeline protest we saw paramilitary forces used against protestors. Trump brought in an experimental sonic weapon to use against protesters in D.C., and buzzed them with helicopters.
If the current GOP comes to power we will see more of this.
...they're putting in the machinery to do it now.
.and when the Dems win and gain control of all the executive and congressional branches, we should go down the entire list of everything the anti-American party has done and reverse everything one by one.