A crackdown on our First Amendment right to protest: message from Greenpeace


Your constitutional right to peaceful assembly is under attack.

Stand up for free speech and the right to protest!


Every Greenpeace supporter should be alarmed. Huge and growing marches and demonstrations have shown lawmakers that our resistance to Trump’s anti-climate, anti-justice agenda is gaining momentum. And behind the scenes, they are taking action to silence us all.

In 19 states so far, laws have been proposed by conservative legislators that would crack down on peaceful protests1, infringing on our right to free speech, undermining democracy, and putting human lives at risk. Peaceful assembly is protected under the Constitution — and these assaults on our First Amendment rights are nothing but scare tactics. That’s why I’m asking you to sign this petition immediately. Tell your state’s leaders to stand for your constitutional rights.

In North Dakota, where we protested with our allies against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a new bill would allow drivers to mow down protesters with their cars. If the driver’s actions were “unintentional,” the driver would not be held legally accountable for hitting protesters in the street.2

A bill moving through the Minnesota legislature would let cities charge protesters with the cost of policing the protest. Protesters found liable for “unlawful assembly or public nuisance” could be sued for the cost of police response.3

In North Carolina, a bill would create a new “economic terrorism” felony charge for any protester who caused $1,000 or more in economic damages and who was thought to be attempting to intimidate the government or the public.4

These attempts to silence dissent should be huge red flags for anyone — Democrat or Republican — who values the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. At Greenpeace, peaceful protest is too integral to our mission. We cannot fight for climate action, or clean air and water, or the health of our communities, without organizing, mobilizing, and speaking out as a unified movement. And it’s not just about Greenpeace: it’s about all of us. A healthy democracy, speaking truth to power, and political expression, are values fundamental to our nation’s identity from the start.

So we cannot let governments and corporations silence us. We must stop these unconstitutional measures now, and your state leaders need to hear from you. These bills are a threat to our democracy, a threat to our ability to enact change, and even a threat to human lives.

Please – refuse to be silent. Contact your state leaders today to defend free speech and the right to peaceful protest. Thank you!

For a green and peaceful future,

Rebecca Gerber
RESIST team, Greenpeace USA

P.S. Greenpeace’s power lies in our direct action, in people joining together and resisting. Trump and his corporate enablers would love nothing more than to deal a crippling blow to our entire movement. But we won’t be silenced — and we know you won’t either. Please stand strong with us, as you always have, and fight back. Sign the petition today.

(1) https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/04/02/americans-right-to-protest-is-in-grave-danger-un-warns.html
(2) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/24/republican-lawmakers-introduce-bills-to-curb-protesting-in-at-least-17-states/
(3) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/25/minnesota-protesters-bill-liable-policing-costs
(4) https://thinkprogress.org/protester-crackdown-in-north-carolina-would-sanctify-commerce-over-free-speech-fc264c4558d4

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