Highway To Illogic

The House passed a bill barring people form blocking freeways yesterday, on a largely party-line vote:

Following an impassioned debate, the House voted to make it a gross misdemeanor to participate in protests that block freeways, transit or airport roads, despite intense opposition from DFLers.

The problem isn’t that we don’t already have laws against disturbing the peace, trespassing on freeways (just try riding a bike on one) and the like.

The problem is, neither Betsy Hodges / Jacob Frey nor Chris Coleman / Mel Carter nor Mark Dayton were ever going to enforce them against Black Lives Matter.

Had Pro Life Action blocked a freeway, they’d have been met with attack dogs and water cannon.

The problem in Minnesota is, some protesters are more equal than others.  The Ramco and Henco attorneys, who don’t even up-charge gun criminals, aren’t going to enforce this law (on the off chance Dayton doesn’t veto it) under any circumstances.

So what’s the point?

Opponents said the bill does nothing to address injustices that could prompt people to march on freeways and quashes one of the most important tools people have to draw attention to an issue: civil disobedience.

Dear idiot entitled whiffleball-life DFL fops:   if it’s not illegal, then you’re not disobeying anything.    Grow a pair.

 

12 thoughts on “Highway To Illogic

  1. Opponents said the bill does nothing to address injustices that could prompt people to march on freeways and quashes one of the most important tools people have to draw attention to an issue: civil disobedience.
    The same argument could be made if the protesters engaged in mass murder.

  2. How about a law that says if you “protest” on the freeway and somebody runs you over, there is no civil or criminal penalty for the driver?

  3. Mitch is guilty of a hyperbole failure done to monger some conservative tribal grievance over Black Lives Matter. Ramsey County charged at least 20 people to start over the I-94 protest, alright. Ramsey County didn’t ‘not charge’ anyone because of some political alignment with BLM. This law is dumb, there’s no reason for it. Its not a worthwhile legislative pursuit unless you just want to grind culture war axes.

    As a conservative… and this true, I’m not concern trolling anyone… Its disappointing to see people construct this worldview where they don’t think BLM has a right to be pissed over Yanez / Castile. It was an abomination.

  4. John,

    Whoah, bigfella. You can have your own opinion, but you don’t get to tell me mine:

    Mitch is guilty of a hyperbole failure done to monger some conservative tribal grievance over Black Lives Matter.

    I have no grievance over BLM. I’ve interviewed, and found common ground with, them on my program. And as someone whose right to free speech is at constant risk (like any red person in a blue city), I am as unbending in my support of free speech as I am of the other nine amendment of the Bill of Rights.

    Your stereotype and assumption, burned to a crisp, may be withdrawn.

    Ramsey County didn’t ‘not charge’ anyone because of some political alignment with BLM.

    Please. What other group would have gotten a pass to block Snelling Avenue for five hours on the busiest day of the State Fair? What other group would have gotten a police escort onto the freeway? PLAM? The Gun Owners Caucus?

    Please.

    Its disappointing to see people construct this worldview where they don’t think BLM has a right to be pissed over Yanez / Castile.

    You may not be clear about my own history on this issue on my show and in this space. It’s not what you think, clearly.

  5. I like / love your blog Mitch, and read it every day.

    This Yanez / Castile is a pet subject of mine, and I like to see people understand it all in the right way.

  6. I knew your history there, I’m sure I read that blog post at the time.

    It is your sympathy for Castile’s plight, I think, that is at odds with glomming on to Zerwas’ cop sucking bill here. In the absence of great practical reasons to support the bill, which you somewhat acknowledge, I can’t see any other reason to support it besides cultural affinity signaling.

    They arrested people on I-94. They didn’t ‘not arrest’ people. That’s the hyperbolic overreach I thought I identified. If it bugs you they didn’t arrest people at the fair that one day… well, there are reasons for that besides it being ‘political’. The police didn’t want to come off heavy handed, didn’t want to provoke a riot where there was not one. It’s hard to prosecute 25-75 people who are going to plead not guilty and demand bench trials and say they were misidentified and be acquitted…

    I do actually think conservative protesters could create as much ruckus and get away with it and be coddled by the county attorney if conservative protesters were of type to create ruckus. Same circumstances apply.

  7. I’m getting old. I think I remember things, but others don’t seem to.

    For example, I think I remember more than one freeway protest, more than one traffic jam, more than one time a certain celebrity protest group got away with conduct that nobody else would have. Traffic safety as a cultural value – wouldn’t have thought of it that way but sure, mark me down for it.

    But no – John informs us there was only ever one time and it was instantly prosecuted fully, so I guess my memory is faulty.

    On the other hand, even if my memory were accurate, passing another law doesn’t mean law-breakers will obey it or that prosecutors will enforce it against a certain celebrity protest group. John’s got a point there.

  8. What gets me is the question of why bother with a new law. If the local police aren’t going to prosecute people for being a public nuisance, which has been on the books for over a century, exactly why would we think they’ll enforce the new law? The cure for this is not new laws, but rather to vote out the bums in St. Paul and deny them funding for their boondoggles if residents don’t get a lick of sense.

  9. What the left doesn’t seem to realize is that while they have the right to free speech to address ANY grievance (real or conceived), they do NOT have the right to force anyone else to listen to their grievances. Marching on the freeway, or on Snelling to block traffic, or at the airport to disrupt travel, or physically attaching themselves to barriers that allow them to block light rail lines on probably the single day with the highest usage of LRT in Twin Cities history (Superbowl Sunday) is exactly congruent to forcing others to listen to their grievance. Those trespasses are crimes, no matter how many black people were unjustly shot by white cops, and the trespassers should be charged and prosecuted. If the penalties aren’t severe enough to discourage that behavior (currently they are petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors), then they should be increased to gross misdemeanors and felonies so the rest of civil society is not negatively affected. I don’t care how serious an injustice is that causes you to take to the streets, you do NOT get to break laws to make your point. If you do, there should be serious consequences. If you repeatedly do, it should cost you a SHITLOAD of money and jail time for the act of disrupting the lives of hundreds or thousands of other innocent people.

  10. Uh huh… what have I been implying… that Zerwas’ bill is more about signaling cultural affinity than antything else, and smacking down ‘the lefts’ energy here such that is perceived to be a ‘left’issue.

    This bill makes it no easier to prosecute anyone for a civil disobedience crime.

  11. signaling cultural affinity

    What the heck does this mean?

    This bill makes it no easier to prosecute anyone for a civil disobedience crime.

    So if someone feels really strongly about something unrelated to the law they broke, well, then, they get off?

  12. What I mean is, mostly, that being in support of Zerwas’ bill here is a way for righties and maybe even libertarians to disapprove of BLM for being, ya know… “uppity” …. about the Castile shooting. See, the shooting was indefensible so rather than argue that we can bitch and moan about how they block the streets during protests, thereby fulfilling our standard culture war role.

    Your other part… no, that’s not what I meant

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