No Ohio Anti Protest Bill
Since November 2016 unprecedented numbers of protests have taken place in our country. People have lifted their voices, demanding to be heard. Our elected officials should be engaging with their constituents and listening to the concerns these protesters are bringing to them. Our elected officials are responsible for representing the will of the community. The First Amendment guarantees the right of the people to assemble, the right to speak freely, and the right to petition the government.
Instead, Senator Hoagland has proposed the criminalization of peaceful protests that might threaten the profits of privately owned companies. Senate Bill 250 seeks to impose fines up to $10,000 and 9 months to 3 years in prison for being on a fracking site, utility infrastructure, homeland security site etc. even when no harm is done to the property. These same penalties would apply to anyone flying a drone over these facilities. This bill specifically protects private oil and gas companies who come to Ohio, drill through our shale, tear up our land for pipelines, pour toxins into our air and water, then take their oil and gas out of Ohio, and possibly sold to foreign markets to be sold elsewhere.
Senate Bill 250 is an unconstitutional suppression of our right to protest. Ohioans care about our watersheds, our forests, the air that we breath and the soil in which we grow our food. We have every right to protest when private, out of state, and foreign owned companies threaten these natural resources of air, soil, and water on which we depend.
Senate Bill 250 does not represent the health and interests of Ohioans. This bill should never become law.
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