Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Florida's new anti-riot law, the first amendment -- and conscription by the mob?


Miami book fair, 2017

 Ian Corzine discusses Florida’s new anti-riot law, which would cause criminal penalties to protesters who actually injure others or damage property in protests.

The law would also protect people trying to leave protests from liability in certain situations.  But it won’t protect motorists who run over protesters blocking highways. Look at the original provisions

CBS has a detailed news story. 

Orlando Sentinel has another story. On the bystander issue, yes, I have a real problem with being trapped by force into joining somebody's cause (like in an outdoor restaurant).  But many protesters don't want bloggers or journalists to film them without joining in.  It's the "no spectators" and "skin in the game" thing. 

 Chrus Cuomo reported April 22 that the Florida bill makes aggravated rioting a felony and mob intimidation a strong misdemeanor. The New York Times has a detailed story. Oklahoma and Iowa would apparently exempt from liability drivers who run over protesters who deliberately block drivers from streets when they don't have permits.  Indiana would bar those convicted of unlawful assembly from state employment.

 Update: April 25:  New Republic has an article by Alex Pareene, "The Right to Crash Cars into People: How Republicans across the country came to endorse a terrorist tactic against protesters".  The case of James Fields in Charlottesville is mentioned.  There is a comparison to ISIS tactics.  Generally, many people are able to avoid driving in an area with demonstrations in the first place.  But what if you are parked in a garage for work and legally not allowed to leave. What if you are trapped in a residential street and legally not allowed to return home (as has happened in Minnesota, Portland, Seattle).  Then the protesters have used force against you and there is no remedy, so you are required to take their demands in considering your personal actions whether you would have or not,.  That means they have power over you, as a remedy to claimed inequity.  Ponder that.   In my own case, this has not come up.  But it reminds me of protesters going into an outdoor dining space and approaching diners and "demanding" in a threatening manner that the privileged diners join them. 

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