Here’s something we don't see every day. The tea party and unions and other progressive groups have come together in Georgia to fight a proposed Draconian law that would make union and other picketing a serious crime.
The bill, SB 469 introduced by state Sen. Don Balfour (R), clamps down on free speech and workers’ rights.The bill would allow protestors to be charged twice for the same act of peaceful protest--once with conspiracy to commit, which would be charged as a high and aggravated misdemeanor and carry a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail, and then with criminal trespass, which would carry a $1,000 fine and also up to a year in jail.
The bill would cover action by unions, environmental, civil rights, pro-and anti-choice groups and just about every conceivable group that would engage in picketing protests.
In an e-mail to its members, the Atlanta Tea Party/Tea Party Patriots Georgia writes:
This is not a right or left issue, it is a right or wrong issue. We may not agree with all of the politics...but we will defend their right to speak and protest, because this is America. If we destroy the First Amendment, we cease to be a free nation.
Saturday, more than 2,000 gathered outside the Georgia state capitol building for a “We Are Georgia” rally, protesting SB 469 along with a slew of other bills they say are a clear attack on the 99%.
Earlier this month in a letter to Balfour, Fulton County Sheriff Theodore “Ted" Jackson wrote:
The role of law enforcement should not be to police free speech. But the intent of the bill seems to be just that.
The bill has passed the Senate and now goes to the House. If you are a Georgia resident, click here to send a message to your legislator urging the bill’s defeat.