(Natural News) Blue states and cities have been largely putting up with thugs and losers associated with Antifa and Black Lives Matter for the past couple of years destroying buildings and looting and burning businesses, all under the guise of ‘social justice.’
Red states, meantime, have watched in disbelief as many of the same Democrats blithely go along with idiot calls to ‘defund’ their police departments, only to act on that lunacy and wonder why, months later, crime rates are spiking as officers-to-citizens ratios dropped.
But red states are doing more than just shaking their heads: They are moving to protect their citizens with tough new laws aimed at protecting the First Amendment’s guaranteed right to redress and protest but draw the line when it comes to destroying public and private property.
And no where is the law being laid down in a tougher manner than in Florida.
In recent days, popular GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new “anti-riot” law that protects speech and protests but makes it a felony to incite or engage in a riot.
During a ceremony in Polk County, DeSantis — whose name is already being mentioned as a potential Republican presidential nominee in 2024 — described it as “the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country.”
The signing comes amid protests, riots, looting, and arson incidents in several major cities around the United States in the wake of an officer involved-shooting death in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Meanwhile, a verdict is expected to be handed down by a jury in the murder trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen kneeling on George Floyd before his death—which sparked months of riots and demonstrations.
The law, known as HB1, increases criminal penalties for assault, defacing monuments, and vandalizing public property during riots. Local governments that interfere with law enforcement trying to contain violent demonstrations will be penalized. Meanwhile, a citizens’ appeal process will be set up when counties and cities try to reduce their respective police force budgets.
During the signing ceremony, the Florida Republican called leftist calls to “defund the police” that became a common theme of BLM demonstrations last year an “insane theory” that is “not going to be allowed to ever carry the day in the state of Florida.”
The outlet said that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and their Democrat allies claim the new law is meant to intimidate BLM and other protesters. (Related: Police officers in Austin, Tex., are quitting in record numbers due to city’s “woke” transformation.)
“The bill was purposely designed to embolden the disparate police treatment we have seen over and over again directed towards black and brown people who are exercising their constitutional right to protest,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of ACLU of Florida.
But that’s not true: The law seeks to deter those individuals from mistaking riots and looting for constitutionally protected speech. There is no constitutional right to destroy property and attack police officers and civilians alike simply because you are upset about a political, cultural or social issue.
“If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country,” DeSantis said. “There’s just nothing even close.”
The law creates a new second-degree felony, “aggravated riot,” for any such disturbance involving more than 25 people and resulting in bodily harm or more than $5,000 in damaged property. In addition, the law applies to anyone who uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, or blocks roads by force or via threat of force.
In addition, the law gives people who drive through demonstrators blocking a road civil immunity, which means that they can’t be sued for damages if protesters are hurt or even killed, but they still could face criminal charges. Republicans said the coverage only applies to drivers who claimed self-defense.
Frankly, it’s a law that is overdue and hopefully one that will be emulated by other state leaders who are truly interested in protecting their citizens.
See more reporting like this at MartialLaw.news.