Chaos Erupts After Minnesota Lawmakers Pass Controversial Bill That Can Limit Protests In State

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Minneapolis, Minn., protesters shut down a House committee session after congressmen passed a Republican-sponsored bill, House File 322, that will give local governments the power to sue demonstrators to recover law enforcement costs.

During the Tuesday, Jan. 24, session, John Thompson, protester and friend of slain Falcon Heights, Minnesota, man Philando Castile, was the most vocal after the bill passed with a vote of 9-6 in the House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee. “Shame on you,” Thompson scolds the lawmakers. “You should leave because those seats you’re sitting in will be replaced by somebody who represents us.”

HF 322 would allow local police departments to charge protesters for costs associated with large-scale protests and demonstrations, reported CBS Minnesota. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Nick Zerwas, who also was behind a bill that would penalize protesters more harshly for shutting down traffic on highways.

Critics of the bill claim the bill will target Black and brown protesters more because the majority of recent protests have taken place in urban areas.

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