Legal

State legislators take steps to criminalize protests

BY REID WILSON –

In North Dakota, where protesters occupied land around an unfinished section of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) on Thursday signed four laws that would stiffen penalties against protests. The measures increase sanctions for offenses related to riots and broaden the definition of trespassing, allowing law enforcement officers to issue citations and fines.

The new laws, passed under emergency provisions that allow them to take effect immediately, came just hours after a protest camp near the pipeline was evacuated.

Senators in neighboring South Dakota on Thursday passed a bill that would allow the governor to create a “safety zone” in emergency situations. Anyone who entered the zone would be fined.

Categories: Legal, protest

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