CLAIM: A staff attorney for Greenpeace USA claims that legislation introduced in Statehouses across the country to protect pipeline projects and those who work on them is instead aimed at “restricting the right to protest,” even while admitting the bills “are not seeking to target protest generally, they are much more sneaky than that.”
The bills are not at all “sneaky,” nor do they restrict the right to legally protect. In fact, they are straightforward – and they are all aimed at illegal acts:
- In Texas, legislation clearly states, “A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person intentionally or knowingly: (1) damages, destroys, vandalizes, defaces, or tampers with a critical infrastructure facility; or (2) impedes, inhibits, or otherwise interferes with the operation of a critical infrastructure facility.”
- In Missouri, the bill is clearly aimed at those who trespass on others’ property without permission and those who “damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility.”
- The South Dakota riot-boosting law signed this year by the governor makes clear “a person is liable for riot boosting, jointly and severally with any other person, to the state or a political subdivision in an action for damages if the person: (1) Participates in any riot and directs, advises, encourages, or solicits any other person participating in the riot to acts of force or violence; (2) Does not personally participate in any riot but directs, advises, encourages, or solicits other persons participating in the riot to acts of force or violence; or (3) Upon the direction, advice, encouragement, or solicitation of any other person, uses force or violence, or makes any threat to use force or violence, if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by three or more persons, acting together and without authority of law.”
Greenpeace, which continues to fundraise over its misrepresentations about pipelines and those who protest them, apparently believes there should be no consequence to illegal actions – and that legislatures should not enhance penalties to further discourage ongoing campaigns that employ illegal activities. Legislatures and law enforcement officials across the country disagree – and they are being perfectly clear what is and is not legal, despite Greenpeace’s claims.