OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — When massive demonstrations against racial injustice erupted across the nation last summer, protesters used an increasingly common tactic to draw attention to their cause: swarming out onto major roads to temporarily paralyze traffic.
This method sometimes resulted in searing images of drivers plowing through crowds, causing serious injuries and in some cases, deaths.
Now, Republican politicians across the country are moving to stop the road-blocking maneuver, proposing increased penalties for demonstrators who run onto highways and legal immunity for drivers who hit them. The bills are among dozens introduced in Legislatures aimed at cracking down on demonstrations.
I’m always struck by the selfishness of this style of protest. Take this comment:
Mark Faulk, a longtime Oklahoma activist who was arrested last year for blocking a roadway, said dramatic tactics are necessary to get people’s attention.