One of the tactics used by far left protesters to disrupt the lives of private citizens and to show their power, is to block roadways, streets, and public right of ways. Blocking public right of ways has been a minor crime. Most states have statutes which require vehicles to give way to pedestrians.However, the tide may be turning to allow defensive motor vehicle tactics to protect those caught in the protesters web.
The far left found this weakness in the system, which allowed them to disrupt and endanger tens of thousands of other people without serious penalty for themselves.
Once vehicles were stopped, the drivers and passengers would be at the mercy of the mob. Several drivers have been beaten, others have been shot at. The mobs appear to have been taught tactics to incite drivers to attempt to escape, and then to claim “victim” status. There are numerous videos which show “protestors” running to get in front of vehicles to stop them and render them vulnerable to the mob.
Several state legislatures have recognized this flaw in the system, which allows groups of people to terrorize the public and to cause fear and death, as emergency vehicles are diverted or delayed from reaching hospitals or those in need of emergency care. AP reports Defensive Motor Vehicle Tactics bills are pending in Iowa, Missouri, Utah, Florida, and about a dozen other states. Oklahoma is one of those states.
Representative Kevin McDugle has introduced a bill, HB2215, to rectify the situation and allow drivers to escape threatening situations. If shown to be justified, drivers would be immune to lawsuits and criminal penalties. The bill passed the initial committee hearing 6-1. From Billtrack50.com:
AMENDATORY 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1320.2, is amended to read as follows:
Section 1320.2 It shall be unlawful and shall constitute incitement to riot for a person or persons, intending to cause, aid, or abet the institution or maintenance of a riot, to do an act or engage in conduct that urges other persons to commit acts of unlawful force: 1. Force or violence, or the unlawful burning; HB2215 HFLR 2. Burning or destroying of property, or the unlawful interference; 3. Interference with a police officer, peace officer, fireman or a member of the Oklahoma National Guard or any unit of the armed services officially assigned to riot duty in the lawful performance of his or her duty; 4. Obstruction of an exit or entrance into a private business; or 5. Obstruction of any street, road, highway or thoroughfare in this state used by the public.
A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 1320.11 of Title 21, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows: A motor vehicle operator who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual shall not be criminally or civilly liable for the injury or death, if the injury or death of the individual occurred while the motor vehicle operator was fleeing from a riot, as defined in Section 1311 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, under a reasonable belief that fleeing was necessary to protect the motor vehicle operator from serious injury or death.
This act shall become effective November 1, 2021.
Any use of force or violence, or any threat to use force or violence if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by three or more persons acting together and without authority of law, is riot.
Those who oppose the law claim “protestors” have the right to violate the law and disrupt other peoples’ lives in order to bring attention to their perceived grievances. From wnep.com:
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.
“The idea of escalating it to the point where you disrupt the convenience of the citizens and of the status quo, you have to do that sometimes to make a point,” Faulk said.
The right to peaceably assemble does not include the power to block public right of ways without prior arrangement and notice. The right of free speech does not include the power to infringe on the rights of others.
The left has long held the rule of law, due process, and Constitutional Rights should only be upheld when they work in favor of the left. Chris Cuomo of CNN supports the First Amendment as violence for the far left. He asked where it said protesters (on the left) are supposed to be polite and peaceful:
“And please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
The left seems to think they will “win” by throwing the country into chaos and destroying the rule of law and due process.
When that happens, everyone loses, except, perhaps, for a very tiny minority which gains control at the top. Even they will always be in doubt of their position and power.
Update: The bill has been passed and signed into law.