This past weekend:
Police cleared hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting the verdict in the Jeronimo Yanez trial from Interstate 94 early Saturday morning.
Police gave protesters numerous warnings that being on the interstate constituted an unlawful assembly and that arrests would be made if they did not clear the roadway. A KSTP reporter on scene said officers sprayed protesters with mace while attempting to control the crowd.
It’s interesting that it’s Hubbard News, of all outlets, that emphasized in its headline how minor any “violence” was. Anyway, early in the legislative session, namely January:
Representative Kathy Lohmer says the growing number of freeway protests are a threat to public safety, not only to police, but drivers and protesters too.
“You need to obey the laws of the freeway,” said Lohmer, a Republican from Stillwater. “They are there for a purpose. Freeways are not really public spaces, like parks and places like that. You need a license to drive on the freeway. You can’t walk on the freeway.”
Lohmer’s bill beefs up penalties for obstructing highways, including entrance and exit ramps. Right now, it’s a misdemeanor carrying fines up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail.
The bill would make it a gross misdemeanor, carrying fines up to $3,000 and a year in jail.
That didn’t make it into law, this time. It will, if Republicans take the trifecta in Minnesota in 2018. And said GOPers apparently honestly believe that it will help turn angry people who intend to get noticed into obedient little authoritarians. That is delusional.
Image: Twin Cities Daily Planet