HR437, "the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011" makes it illegal to protest in the vicinity of anyone who rates a Secret Service detail (even if you aren't aware of the person's presence), thus sparing politicians and VIPs the ugly and unseemly spectacle of having to confront voters who disagree with their policies. Only three Congressmen voted against it.
On top of that, the punishment can be pretty severe. You can get up to a year in jail for being found guilty of these things, and that jumps up to 10 years if you are carrying a "deadly or dangerous weapon."
As Amash notes, there are legitimate safety concerns to be aware of, and there are issues with doing something that significantly impedes government regulations. But it's really not difficult to see how this bill could very, very easily be stretched to be used against those doing standard protesting against significant political figures.
Chipping Away At The First Amendment: New 'Trespassing' Bill Could Be Used To Criminalize Legitimate Protests
Many “progressives” looked the other way while the Obama administration asserted unprecedented presidential powers, like the right to murder anyone the president feels like, anywhere in the world, using drones and other technologies; and the right to spy on everyone, all the time. Now that Donald Trump is about to inherit those powers, the Obama […]
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