Last summer, streets and highways were blocked in cities across the country as Black Lives Matter and Antifa “activists” performed their “protests” in ways that were meant to harm people. They’d never admit that was their intention, but only a total idiot would think that slowing or stopping an ambulance carrying a dying person or preventing police from answering an emergency call would not cause real harm to people, perhaps even death.
In many leftist cities like Seattle and St. Louis, these “protests” were tolerated because social justice politicians did not want to seem unsympathetic to the anarcho-communist causes. The harm was done then and it’s sure to happen again once weather gets warmer and the “woke” crowd gets the gumption to venture forth. Tennessee hopes to curtail such activities with a bill that would make blocking highways and other avenues of transportation a felony offense with real jail time and fines attached.
But this bill gets even better. We’ve seen instances where people are blocked by “protesters” who are hitting their vehicle, trying to get inside, and even breaking out windows. Such dangerous situations can lead people to wonder whether they should accept the fate that the mob bestows on them or if they should try to speed away and risk going to jail themselves. We’ve also see dangerous situations in which people are hit by unsuspecting drivers who just happen to be going down a road they don’t realize is blocked. This new bill would grant immunity to those who unintentionally harm or kill those blocking the highway illegally.
According to WJHL:
A bill in the Tennessee General Assembly would make obstructing a highway a felony. It would also grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill someone blocking a highway. The House Criminal Justice Committee recommended HB 513 for passage on Wednesday.
The bill would upgrade the offense of obstructing a highway or street from a Class B or C misdemeanor to a Class E felony. It would also apply to obstructing a railway, waterway, hallway, “or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles or conveyances.”
Class E felonies are punishable by up to six years in prison. The bill would also impose a mandatory $3,000 fine.
Under the legislation, if a driver “who is exercising due care” unintentionally injures or kills someone blocking a highway, the driver would be immune from prosecution for the injury or death.
Both of these components make perfect sense in a world where we do not know what idiotic move the radicals are going to try to pull off next. They want to be victims. They want to be seen participating in their social justice activism and being harmed as a result, as long as that harm is not too severe. Otherwise, they’re generally cowards.
One of the most infuriating things that happens during these “rallies” that block traffic and cause harm is that they often erroneously invoke their right to assembly. Other times they claim they are just protesters as part of a free country or that they’re participating in righteous civil disobedience. All of these notions are false. The right to assemble is protected for those who are peaceful and not causing harm. As noted before, blocking highways definitely causes harm of innocent people.
As for protesting in a free country or practicing civil disobedience, the fools at Black Lives Matter or other radical groups do not seem to realize that these are personal acts. Protesting is voicing an opinion, not stopping ambulances from reaching hospitals. Civil disobedience is intended to cause potential legal troubles for the individual being disobedient, not pass the effects of their actions onto others. These “activists” miss these truths altogether.
Everyone should encourage their own state legislators to consider the same type of bill on the table in Tennessee. When spring and summer hit, highways will once again be dangerously blocked. This needs to be stopped immediately.