having all your assets seized because you planned a peaceful protest
that disturbed the peace? That could be a reality under SB1142, which
just passed the Arizona state senate.
SB1142, Arizona’s racketeering laws are expanding to include
rioting. This gives the state government the right to criminally
prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest that
turned violent and everyone who participated.
bill also redefines what constitutes a rioter as any person who “uses
force or violence or threatens to use force or violence, if such
threat is accompanied by immediate power of execution,
which EITHER disturbs the public peace OR RESULTS IN
DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON.”
vote was 17-13. One of the 17 that voted for this, Sen.
John Kavanagh, gave the following justification for this absurd,
unconstitutional new law: “You now have a situation where you have
full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to
create public disorder. A lot of them are ideologues, some of them
are anarchists. But this stuff is all planned… I should certainly
hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people
there. Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?”
defines what is considered a ‘violent’ protest?
determines what ‘disturbs the public peace’? Does profanity,
shouting, or loud music constitute disturbing the peace?
opponents of a protest could just hire agitators to make protests
violent, then the authorities could use this as an excuse to seize
the assets of all the protesters.
are peacefully protesting and some guy starts throwing rocks at
windows. Not only are you arrested on racketeering charges, but then
the cops come and seize your house, car, and belongings? Good
luck affording a lawyer to defend you in court!
this succeeds and is signed into law by the Governor of Arizona, you
can bet a similar nationwide law will be on its way not long after…