Republicans Are Working To Make It LEGAL To Injure, Kill Protesters In North Dakota

Oh, North Dakota. They just had to go and set the bar lower for themselves. Instead of figuring out why protesters disrupted a lot during the long fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and maybe finding a productive solution to disruption, they’ll just try and eliminate protesters in a way that skirts the 1st Amendment.

And it’s really horrific. This allegedly “pro-life” crowd wants to make it legal for drivers to run over anyone blocking a roadway. They hate protesters to the point where they actually introduced a bill in the state legislature to do just that:

“A driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages,” the bill reads. “A driver of a motor vehicle who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway is not guilty of an offense.”

Yeah. “Unintentionally.” Well, that just makes everything okay, then, doesn’t it? Infuriatingly, they say that this is necessary after the DAPL protests, and they claim that pedestrians are intentionally putting themselves in danger if they protest on roads. Because protests are supposed to happen in the background where they won’t make people uncomfortable.

What’s the difference between this and running over someone who’s just jaywalking? Isn’t that person intentionally putting themselves in danger? The bill doesn’t actually mention protesters, so it’s somewhat safe to assume that someone guilty of hitting just any jaywalker out there could get away with it, too. No compensation for medical bills or funeral costs, no punitive damages for the family of the victim. It’s sick.

The big problem here is proving intent. Proving intent, or lack of intent, is really fucking difficult to do. So North Dakota is working on making the world more dangerous for pedestrians and for protesters, because, reasons. Reasons that involve terrifying people into not protesting.

Republicans really are a sick breed.

Featured image by Alex Wong via Getty Images