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"Like a tree that stands by the water, we shall not be moved"

Our right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy and at the core of the First Amendment.

We know this to be an undeniable truth, but the recent rise in public dissent and resistance has been met with a rise in legislative attempts to criminalize protest. Eighteen states and counting have introduced bills to either criminalize or impose stiff penalties on protestors. These range from the outrageous North Dakota House Bill No. 1203 that would allow motorists to legally run over and kill a protestor to the Washington state bill that seeks to reclassify protests as "economic terrorism," prosecutable as a felony.

Make no mistake, these bills are in direct response to NoDAPL and Black Lives Matters protests of the past couple of years, as well as a rise in large-scale protests resisting the Trump administration. And they are deeply troubling violations of the First Amendment.

What you can do

1. FIND out if your state has a bill proposed to penalize and criminalize protest. See if your state is listed below and learn about the proposed legislation. If your state is not below, go here to track your state's current and proposed legislation.

Arizona - SB 1142
North Dakota - HB 1203
Minnesota - HF 322
Florida - SB 1096
Georgia - SB 160
Iowa - SF 111
Michigan - HB 4643 and 4630
Washington - SB 5009
Indiana - SB 285
Colorado - SB17-035
Virginia - SB 1055
Missouri - HB 179
North Carolina - Not Yet Filed
Mississippi - SB 2730
Oklahoma - HB 1123
Oregon - SB 540
South Dakota - SB 176
Tennessee - HB 668

2. CALL, CALL CALL the Rep or Senator who sponsored the above bill in your state and let them know you are against legislation that violates our first amendment rights. Call your own Rep and Senator as well, if not the ones who sponsored it. SB stands for Senate Bill and HB for House Bill.