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oregon equates protesters with terrorists

by eeyore Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 10:48 AM

oregon wants to jail protesters as terrorists under proposed law

let's show oregon the way on this one. we aren't terrorists. let's make sure this thing never passes.


Oregon Law Would Jail War Protesters as Terrorists
Wed Apr 2, 9:01 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!


By Lee Douglas

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - An Oregon anti-terrorism bill would jail street-blocking protesters for at least 25 years in a thinly veiled effort to discourage anti-war demonstrations, critics say.



Latest news:
· Freed U.S. Soldier Stable, Being Treated in Germany
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AP - 12 minutes ago
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Reuters - 14 minutes ago
Special Coverage





The bill has met strong opposition but lawmakers still expect a debate on the definition of terrorism and the value of free speech before a vote by the state senate judiciary committee (news - web sites), whose Chairman, Republican Senator John Minnis, wrote the proposed legislation.


Dubbed Senate Bill 742, it identifies a terrorist as a person who "plans or participates in an act that is intended, by at least one of its participants, to disrupt" business, transportation, schools, government, or free assembly.


The bill's few public supporters say police need stronger laws to break up protests that have created havoc in cities like Portland, where thousands of people have marched and demonstrated against war in Iraq (news - web sites) since last fall.


"We need some additional tools to control protests that shut down the city," said Lars Larson, a conservative radio talk show host who has aggressively stumped for the bill.


Larson said protesters should be protected by free speech laws, but not given free reign to hold up ambulances or frighten people out of their daily routines, adding that police and the court system could be trusted to see the difference.


"Right now a group of people can get together and go downtown and block a freeway," Larson said. "You need a tool to deal with that."


The bill contains automatic sentences of 25 years to life for the crime of terrorism.


Critics of the bill say its language is so vague it erodes basic freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism under an extremely broad definition.


"Under the original version (terrorism) meant essentially a food fight," said Andrea Meyer of the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) (ACLU), which opposes the bill.


Police unions and minority groups also oppose the bill for fear it could have a chilling effect on relations between police and poor people, minorities, children and "vulnerable" populations.


Legislators say the bill stands little chance of passage.


"I just don't think this bill is ever going to get out of committee," said Democratic Senator Vicki Walker, one of four members on the six-person panel who have said they oppose the legislation.






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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 15 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
proposed law john Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 1:05 PM
BAD LAW INDEED WACKAPROTESTOR Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 1:11 PM
Trial Balloon Diogenes Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 1:30 PM
Eich lieben sein, herr fuhrer systemfailure Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 2:32 PM
GMAFB Oregon - Home of the Nazi Legislators Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 3:55 PM
Patriot Act Reminder Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:01 PM
Diogenes systemfailure Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:15 PM
YOUR POINT? SYSTEMFAILURE IS A MENTAL FAILURE Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 6:39 PM
that was a troll Pissed Off in Ohio Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 6:46 PM
ping ping HAcKAdelLic systemfailure Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 6:48 PM
OK...... TO: SYSTEMFAILURE Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 6:52 PM
WE MUST ALL HANG TOGETHER, OR WE WILL ALL HANG SEPARATLY systemfailure Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 6:55 PM
No problem Pissed Off in Ohio Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 7:04 PM
reporter Joel Gallob Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 8:57 PM
Hey, Joel: Nice Reporting Sunday, Apr. 06, 2003 at 9:51 PM

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