With the passage of an amended public safety bill last Monday, the Minnesota House of Representatives have thrust the Gopher State to the fore of a national pandemic of bills attacking our human right to freedom of peaceful assembly. By last count, Republicans in 19 states have proposed 28 anti-protest bills, some indemnifying motorists who strike protesters with their cars, others applying anti-racketeering laws to protest organizers.
In Minnesota, this charge has been lead by Representative Nick Zerwas of Elk River, who has fashioned himself an authority on how and where first amendment rights are “legal”. Due to the partisan recklessness of Rep. Zerwas and his colleagues in Saint Paul, Minnesota has the dubious distinction of pushing some of those 28 anti-protest bills farthest down the field. By vetoing these bills, Governor Mark Dayton can also stop this nationwide momentum against peaceful assembly.