January 21, 2017
The Indiana state legislature is considering an authoritarian bill that would essentially allow police to kill protesters with zero accountability.
Republican senator Jim Tomes introduced Senate Bill 285 in January, though it was given its first committee hearing on Wednesday. The bill authorizes city officials to use “any means necessary” to break up a group of 10 or more protesters blocking traffic, “even to the point of costing lives.”
“A responsible public official shall, not later than 15 minutes after learning of a mass traffic obstruction in the official’s jurisdiction, dispatch all available law enforcement officers … with directions to use any means necessary to clear the roads of the persons unlawfully obstructing vehicular traffic,” the legislation reads.
According to The Guardian, Tomes has a history of introducing draconian right-wing legislation, including bills that call for incarcerating transgender people for up to a year not using the bathroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate. Sue Ellen Braunlin, who is the co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, called Tomes’ bill the “Block Traffic and You Die bill.”
Braunlin told The Guardian that the bill is particularly alarming, as Indiana has seen several large-scale protests that temporarily blocked roadways, all of which ended peacefully.
“We have stopped traffic for a short time during protests, with police cooperation. Often they will let us stop traffic and we have not had a problem. We’ve had a women’s rights march and a Black Lives Matter march and it was all very peaceful and coordinated with the police,” Braunlin said. “This bill doesn’t make sense.”
The bill seems to be part of a larger pattern of legislation popping up to specifically target protesters occupying streets. Legislation recently introduced by Republicans in North Dakota — home of the ongoing Standing Rock protests — would create new legal protections for drivers who run over protesters in the street, even if a driver is responsible for a protester’s death.
So what do WE the PEOPLE do about it?
How many of these do you see as part of a once great country?
Powerful And Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
Disdain For The Recognition Of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
Identification Of Enemies/Scapegoats As A Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, (Christians, Constitutionalists, conservatives, 2nd Amendment supporters, 1st Amendment supporters, 4th Amendment supporters, Ron Paul supporters) etc.
Supremacy Of The Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
Obsession With National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
Corporate and Government Power Are Intertwined And Their Combined Power Is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. (This is the actual definition of fascism according to Gerald Celente’s historical description of Mussolini’s opinion on the matter).
Obsession With Crime And Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Rampant Cronyism And Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. (Gee how about several TRILLION DOLLARS printed out of nothing and handed over to U.S. and foreign banks and companies – does that maybe count? How about hundreds of thousands of people’s homes? How many politicians leave Washington D.C. millionaires or billionaires after arriving there with next to nothing Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Dissent Equals Treason – Cast dissent as “treason” and criticism as “espionage”. Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalize certain kinds of speech (see also #17) and expand the definition of “spy” and “traitor”.
Create A Gulag – Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law – where torture takes place. Gulags in history tend to become ever larger and more secretive, ever more deadly and formalized. Most Americans don’t understand yet that the destruction of the rule of law at Guantánamo set a dangerous precedent for them, too.
Deny Prisoners Due Process – Prisoners held indefinitely, often in isolation, and tortured, without being charged with offenses, and subjected to show trials.
Militarize The Police – When leaders who seek what I call a “fascist shift” want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorize citizens: (the powers that be) need citizens to fear thug violence and need thugs who are free from prosecution.