State senator proposes bill making “illegal protests” a felony

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – A Republican state senator who campaigned for President-elect Donald Trump says he plans to propose a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would take what he calls a firm stand against “illegal protests.”

Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale said in a news release Wednesday his bill would create a new crime of “economic terrorism.”

Ericksen says the measure would allow felony prosecution of people involved in protests that block transportation and commerce, cause property damage, threaten jobs and put public safety at risk.

The senator says he respects the right to protest, but it goes too far when it endangers lives and property.

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington spokesman Doug Honig said Wednesday the statement throws out a lot of broad rhetoric that appears to be targeting civil disobedience as “terrorism.”

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