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.
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, 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.
[...] "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."
[...] 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.
Oregon Law Would Jail War Protesters as Terrorists
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