Home / Be The Change / The State / New Bill Will Legalize Causing ‘Injury or Death’ By Running Over Protesters

New Bill Will Legalize Causing ‘Injury or Death’ By Running Over Protesters

In a daring swipe at First Amendment rights, North Dakota lawmakers have proposed bills directly targeting protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If passed, the bills would add insult to injury for Native Americans and their supporters attempting to protect the water source of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Introduced by so-called ‘small government conservatives,’ one bill would make it a crime for people to have face coverings at protests. Another bill, introduced by Rep. Keith Kempenich (R), would make it legal to run over protesters if the driver says he or she didn’t mean to do it.

House Bill Number 1203 states:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 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.”

Kempenich, an ally of the oil industry sure to benefit from a completed DAPL, cited complaints by his mother-in-law in justifying his proposed bill, going so far as to say a tragedy could occur “if [drivers] have punched the accelerator rather than the brakes.” He did not provide any actual examples of protesters getting hit or data on complaints from other citizens.

The bill is set for a hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Friday, but the Senate Majority Leader has expressed concerns about lawsuits. Interestingly, he also said it could add to the state’s prison population “that’s soared due to crime accompanying the rise in oil production.” But lawmakers are pumping out the disinformation.

When people are having their lives disrupted, you’re going to see things move up here,” said Sen. Kelly Armstrong, an oil company executive and GOP chairman. “It’s very difficult to write ‘protest laws.’ We need to make sure there is reasonable application of the law in all circumstances, whether protest-related or not.

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Not satisfied with having law enforcement violently cracking down on protesters, Kelly believes assaulting the fundamental rights of citizens is the next step. Perhaps Kelly and his political colleagues are feeling emboldened by incoming president Donald Trump, a strong fossil fuel advocate who is ready to embrace authoritarianism.

Lawmakers, eager to begin raking in tax revenue from DAPL, make no mention of the fact that Native American rights were ignored in the process of granting the pipeline right-of-way. They claim the pipeline is necessary to transport oil from shale fields, even though oil production is steadily falling and existing transport infrastructure is already underused – making DAPL nothing more than a high-risk investment by oil barons.

In yet another indication of their readiness to use big government, the same lawmakers are proposing “legislation that would require the state attorney general to sue the federal government to help cover costs for policing a protest.”

They’ve already spent $22 million of state taxpayers’ money acting as militarized protection services for oil companies, and now they feel everyone else should pay them back. There is no confirmation yet if Energy Transfer Partners will or already has reimbursed law enforcement for their help.

This comes after a bill, already withdrawn, that would have had North Dakota claim land and mineral rights in the pipeline’s path under the Missouri River to reimburse law enforcement costs.

Cleary, these ‘small-government conservatives’ are desperate for payback and vengeance. The unabashed desire to wield state power against the most fundamental right of American citizens is truly a frightening prelude.

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    Does this bill also apply to pro-life nutters who like to plug up the parking lots at women’s clinics, because I could actually work with that kind of fairness and compromise.

    • tz1

      Yes, kill babies and sell their parts is the least violence and hate on your side. You want to kill people who would stop it. Violence is legitimate to you, if inconvenienced by a pregnancy or a thought you don’t like. Just kill another human and you’ll be happy.
      Fine. But now we’ve learned nothing will stop you from your violence. But we can and now will shoot back.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        You’ll still go to jail for that, while I’ll get to mow you down with impunity.

        • Jamie Hall

          No you won’t, actually, because you’ve already been shot dead. Just saying.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            I’m not playing “who’s the badass” here, I’m pointing out that it is NOT (nor will it be in the foreseeable future) legal for abortion protesters to shoot women going into clinics. You shouldn’t sit here and encourage people like this. Robert Dear didn’t just wake up one day and decide to save the baybees. He started by getting pumped up on the internet. FUCK this chickenshit asshole troll, who probably hasn’t been to an abortion protest in his life and (I’ll bet) doesn’t even care about abortion. He just hates women and likes getting away with saying things that disrespect and piss them off, y’know, more like the “incel” type of mass shooter. *leans around Mr. Hall so the RIGHT asshole can see her middle finger* Bring it on, bitch!

          • Vincent D’Emidio

            Are you actually siding with these scummy so-called “conservatives”? If so, then you don’t even belong on this board.

      • Vincent D’Emidio

        Please TRY to start a civil war with the true, liberated Americans, so they could squash you like the insects that you are!
        Bible-thumping imbecile!

      • skyp0ckets

        Oh my god. Read the news once in awhile. The only ones who’ve been violent are the pro-life , Christian nuts. You’ve already shot back and killed people to ‘save the babies.’ Every pro-life person I’ve known has not given 2 shits about a baby after it’s born, only want to keep it alive in the womb.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      I’m hip! Seeing bible-bangers get run over would be fun to watch!

    • lrs24

      You’ll notice that the pro-life nuts you speak of at least have enough since to be in the parking lot, not the middle of the highway.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        It’s sense, actually, but you still don’t have a point. The bill specifically endangers people who are purposely blocking traffic… the whereabouts of it are irrelevant.

  • skyp0ckets

    We’re all nails.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      When the Revolution comes…and it IS coming…we could be hammers!

  • Steve

    As if I needed any more evidence, we have lost our mind!

  • “small government conservative”

    What a joke, there has NEVER been small government conservatives, just look at the spending of Ronnie Raygun and the Bush’s as prime examples.

    What you have in America is an Oligarchy and both political parties are themselves members (or want to become members) or fully controlled by them.

    America, you are:

    Owned & Operated

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      You should post something different every once in a while.

    • Domina Elle

      Hadn’t seen this video before thanks

    • lrs24

      I agree with you about Bush, but in Reagan’s case, democrats owned the congress, democrats wrote the spending bills. As revenue increased they refused to slow spending. Which sadly is true of both parties now a days. It’s just who gets the money thrown at them.

  • tz1

    The Hollywood and university types that wanted to burn down memories’ pizza and applauded when Sweet Cakes bakery was destroyed, want to dump Muslim refugees in ND while they live in their segre-Gated communities fly – burning fuel! – to ND and create a “burning man” campsite and wonder why the “small government conservatives” are reacting badly.
    The protesters probably cheered the death of LeVoy Tillicum. They want Australian style gun confiscation, and want to turn everything from Mississippi to outside Hollywood and Silicon Valley to a National Park.
    Now the stupid rednecks are fighting back and you’re worried. Racist! has stopped working after 20 years. Try to fix Chicago or LA first. That’s your home. Fix it instead of coming out here to virtue signal.
    You don’t have free speech in Berkeley or UC Davis – see Milo, and your side is the violent one. Your side is threatening Trump supporters for his inaugural.
    Forget “you be nice small government conservatives while we’ll be Stalinist thugs and do far worse to you if you come to our state!”. Not any more.
    Fix the police brutality in your own cities and states and the harassment ticket taxation.
    And leave us here the hell alone. We don’t want you and your californication.

    • Guy

      Wow !!!! What rock did you just come crawling out from under !?

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      Yo punk, we liberated, herb-smoking, multicultural, TRUE Americans would rather “fix” chumps like you! Now, don’t think of that as a threat — let’s just call it a little friendly advice!

    • skyp0ckets

      What does ‘university types’ mean? Exaggerate much? If you are upset about police brutality (against Lavoy Finicum), you should be upset with police brutality period. Rednecks fighting back? What does that even mean? Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

    • permalink

      Well they got you excited…

  • Kountry Bumpkin

    In the context that this bill was drawn up it’s a complete disgrace however if it had been done to stop idiots from shutting down main roads and not allowing emergency vehicles to pass then I’m all for it.

  • Domina Elle

    People who think things wouldn’t be just as bad under Hillary are very naive.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      People who DO “think things wouldn’t be just as bad under Hillary are” mentally disturbed!

  • Jamie Hall

    Can anybody say “Tiananmen”?

  • Chaindrive

    What does free speech have to do with my right to freely travel?? I’m all for free speech, but it doesn’t mean I should to be forcibly subjected to listen to said speech, or that those speaking can violate my rights. This legal protection is long overdue.

  • Joel W

    As it should be. Blocking public roadways is not a legitimate form of protest. Impeding somebody else’s right to travel freely IS NOT protected by the 1st Amendment.

  • permalink

    Justin Gardner, you know full well this will never pass, why do you continue to “fan the flames”?

  • Maureen Carr

    I’d love to be the first person to run over one of these leftist libtards.