In the wake of “global warming” protests that blocked traffic throughout Washington D.C. on Monday, a Republican congressman is preparing a bill that would make such disruptive protests punishable with fees for police overtime, Fox News has reported.
Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said he will introduce the legislation in response to the “Shut Down D.C.” protests, where up to 22 different intersections were blocked by protesters who believe in global warming.
On Twitter, Congressman Banks said “D.C. collects over $4 billion in federal funding. Hoosier taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for illegal protests – it is a violation of their 1st Amendment rights.” Anyone that is arrested at such protests and “convicted of a felony or misdemeanor” would be held financially liable for “public safety response costs” under his bill.
He further expanded by clarifying that the bill would not punish protest events that had legally obtained permits beforehand, and would only affect spontaneous protests like the climate activists on Monday.
The climate protests, in addition to shutting down traffic and causing widespread outrage, also resulted in massive pollution, from some protesters spreading confetti on the streets to a dumpster that was set on fire on Massachusetts Avenue. At least 32 protesters were arrested.