New Bills Target Protesters, First Amendment

Part of the fallout from the NoDAPL resistance at Standing Rock is legislative. Two concerning bills have been introduced in the North Dakota State Legislature this session and are analyzed in this High Plains Reader article: SB-2044, which expands criminalization against protest and ‘conspirators’ and SB-2209, which helps private and public interests operate in the shadows.

Concerned about further criminalization of dissent in North Dakota, WPLC’s Mary Wilson told HPR that she testified at last Friday’s  Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on SB 2044 because it “seems like a very direct response to DAPL as the courts didn’t go the way the state wanted, and so now they’re taking it to the legislature.”

WPLC board member Jeff Haas commented on SB 2209:

“This bill may be unique to North Dakota,” Jeff Haas said. “This one seems to interfere with the ability to get information through discovery or FOIA, on things like collusion between entities like TigerSwan and law enforcement. Really, it’s like an attempt to cover their tracks. It’s a dangerous thing for companies like TigerSwan to become above the law.”

Read the article in the High Plains Reader here.