Following a successful protest on Monday at the State Capitol against the quarantine, the state has now banned similar protests, according to an announcement from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
“Permits are issued to provide safe environments for demonstrators to express their views,” the CHP said in a statement. “In this case, the permit for the convoy was issued with the understanding that the protest would be conducted in a manner consistent with the state’s public health guidance.”
“That is not what occurred, and CHP will take this experience into account when considering permits for this or any other group,” they added.
On Monday, individuals convened in the downtown area for an “Operation Gridlock” protest, based off of last week’s wildly successful demonstration in Michigan against anti-Trump Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose lockdown policies are among the most strict in the nation.
California Governor Gavin Newsom might be giving Whitmer some competition, as his state bureaucrats have arbitrarily banned a certain type of rally. It is unknown whether they plan to lock up protesters if they disobey the new edict.
“In the interest of public safety and the health of all Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, effective immediately the California Highway Patrol will deny any permit requests for events or activities at all state facilities, to include the State Capitol, until public health officials have determined it is safe to gather again,” the CHP said.
Because protesters did not comply with arbitrary social distancing mandates and protested as they wished, California is punishing them as a consequence.
The same OPEN CALI NOW sign is making the rounds – spotted in Huntington Beach last week, and DTLA today (and, though I can relate to abbreviating where space is limited, nobody calls CA "Cali") pic.twitter.com/ky65YxZxCj
— StreetsblogLA (@StreetsblogLA) April 23, 2020
The protest was put on by the Freedom Angels, a group that organizes to prevent mandatory vaccinations. They are urging people to stand up to prevent their rights from being taken away during these troubling times.
“This is the time for people to take notice and really evaluate the freedoms they’re giving up, all in the name of perceived safety,” said Freedom Angels co-founder Heidi Munoz Gleisner in a Facebook video.
“People need to get back to work, get back to life, get back into contact with their loved ones who they’re isolated from, they need to be able to have a paycheck,” group co-founder Tara Thornton said to The Sacramento Bee, which interviewed her during the demonstration. “This is the grounds they will enslave us upon.”
The protest forced the state’s hand, and they have effectively made the State Capitol a 1st Amendment-free zone as a result.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Pledges to Outlaw Big Tech Censorship
Texas has had enough.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pledging to outlaw Big Tech’s left-wing censorship, announcing his support of a bill in the Texas State Senate that would open social media monopolies to lawsuits from users at a state level.
State Senator Bryan Hughes Senate Bill 12 would provide legal recourse for users of Big Tech platforms who are banned from the services to return, designating Big Tech monopolies such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook as common carriers.
“They are common carriers and they cannot discriminate against people … it’s a violation of the first amendment,” Hughes said. “This is going to protect Texas’ free speech and get them back online.”
I am joining @SenBryanHughes to announce a bill prohibiting social media companies from censoring viewpoints.
It's un-American, Un-Texan, & soon to be illegal.https://t.co/zSdirRa1pj
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 5, 2021
“These are the areas that used to be the courthouse square where people would come and talk,” said Abbott of the legislation. “Now, people are going to Facebook and Twitter to talk about their political ideas, and what Facebook and Twitter are doing — they are controlling the flow of information, and sometimes denying the flow of information.”
“Texas is taking a stand against big tech political censorship. We are not going to allow it in the Lone Star state.”
The law establishing legal recourse against online censorship may prove legally durable enough to avoid breaching Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That law provides immunity for user-created content on internet platforms, and doesn’t give social media platforms a right to discriminate against active or potential users on the basis of political ideology.
The future for fighting Big Tech censorship lies at a state level. While some state Republican officials have proven reluctant to separate themselves from the lucrative business lobbies of Big Tech oligarchs, Hughes’ approach seems legally innovative enough to give free speech defenders a fighting shot at free expression online.
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