Arizona Bill Threatens Protesters
by Stephen Lendman
Tyranny stalks Americans at the federal, state and local levels - fundamental freedoms fast disappearing.
On Wednesday, Arizona's Senate passed legislation targeting anyone orchestrating or participating in legitimate protests turned violent, even if through no fault of their own.
The measure expands state racketeering laws to including rioting - defining it as actions resulting in damage or destruction of property.
The measure authorizes RICO criminal prosecution and asset seizures from anyone involved, including peaceful protestors. Police may arrest protest organizers even if they didn't commit violence.
According to State Senator John Kavanagh, "(y)ou now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder.
Asking "(w)ouldn't you rather stop a riot before it starts" sounds like the bill's intend is to abolish First Amendment free speech, assembly, and right to petition government for redress of grievance.
If the measure passes Arizona's House, it remains to be seen if Republican Governor Doug Ducey supports it. In 2010, then Governor Jan Brewer signed controversial legislation, requiring police to determine if people are in America illegally.
The measure legalizes unchecked racial profiling of anyone suspected of being undocumented, largely by their skin color.
It criminalizes undocumented immigrants as "trespassers," subjecting them to misdemeanor or felony charges.
Police can stop anyone for any reason, question their residency right, and demand proof of legal entry or citizenship. Without it, they may be arrested, fined, jailed, and/or deported without cause, including US citizens.
Immigrants must carry authorization papers at all times. Failure to do so is a criminal offense. Fourth Amendment protections against "unreasonable searches and seizures" are null and void in the state, Latinos looking like possible undocumented immigrants especially vulnerable.
Police may make warrantless arrests without just cause. Anyone may be challenged to prove citizenship, right of residence and identity.
Aliens must proved they're in the country legally. Anyone transporting or in any way aiding undocumented immigrants are in violation of state law.
Employers are prohibited from hiring them. Landlords are forbidden from renting them apartments or rooms. Systematic abuse is commonplace in Arizona and elsewhere nationwide - at all levels of government.
Trump's war on immigrants promises to make things worse.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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