Letter to the editor: New law curtailing protesters’ rights is chilling

By JOAN KENT | La Farge

A few years ago, I was among people peacefully protesting former Gov. Scott Walker on a driveway he used to enter an area plant. When a company representative asked us to move, we did so immediately to a nearby public highway. But what if we’d been on property owned, leased, or operated by an oil or petroleum distribution company, and the company rep called law enforcement?

Under a law recently passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers, such protestors can not only be arrested, but also charged with a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. That’s chilling. And I fear it’s a slippery slope. It’s also over-reach, as existing laws address situations in which protestors damage facilities.

The bill was yet another created by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and passed by state legislators who carry water for ALEC in exchange for donations from corporations. Both houses passed it by voice vote, so there’s no record how individual legislators voted. But I had hoped, naively, that it would die on Evers’ desk.

You may think the law is fine, necessary to keep law and order. And you may not have any reason to peacefully protest. Now.

But even if you never do, what about your children and grandchildren? If it weren’t for dissent, Americans would still be under British rule. And without dissent now, we may soon no longer have a democracy.


Comments are closed.

  • Editorial cartoon

    January 20th, 2020
    by

    Letter to the editor: We should be proud, but what’s changed?

    January 16th, 2020
    by

    I am very proud of the good people of our community who care for the needy.


    Your right to know: Pollution records must be open

    January 9th, 2020
    by

    Just shy of two years ago, this column explored the heightened importance of open government when public health is at risk.


    Twomey: Purchasing flood insurance has many benefits

    January 9th, 2020
    by

    Matt Gabrielson, writing in the La Farge Episcope, advised that it was “never too early to be thinking about flooding.” His weather and climate page are essential reading in that newspaper.


    Letter to the editor: Looking for new people on the Norwalk Village Board

    January 9th, 2020
    by

    Here we are; it is caucus time already. Where did the year go? It would be great to see another good turnout like last year.


  • Letter to the editor: Trump starts war to save his presidency

    January 9th, 2020
    by

    In November 2017, I sent a letter to the County Line predicting that if President Donald Trump was threatened with impeachment, he would start a war with North Korea to distract Americans.


    Letter to the editor: Texas shooting has stirred up gun debate

    January 9th, 2020
    by

    The recent shooting in a Texas church has stirred up the gun debate.


    Letter to the editor: Please don’t kill unborn children

    December 30th, 2019
    by

    n response to Rosalind Woodward concerning legalized abortion: She cites some examples of family concerns, but what would she or others who choose to kill a baby think of this one?


    Letter to the editor: Human life, in all its forms, is precious

    December 30th, 2019
    by

    I applaud Mike Gjefle for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves and will never have the chance.


    Editorial cartoon

    December 19th, 2019
    by

    Letter to the editor: Village of Norwalk not involved with Norcrest management

    December 19th, 2019
    by

    I was involved when the Methodist minister at Norwalk began working with area citizens on developing a housing unit with the USDA Housing Authority in Norwalk.


  • Archives