Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
With all eyes on the tragedies of Charlottesville, many say this is not the America they recognize. However, legalized violence is nothing new, chiefly in the form of police brutality and the immunity offered to those who retaliate against protesters. Though lawmakers are objecting to the car-plowing incident in Virginia that killed activist Heather Heyer, Republican representatives across the country have introduced a slew of bills granting immunity to drivers who injure protesters, exhibiting lawmakers’ disregard for freedom of speech and freedom to organize.
1. North Carolina votes to protect drivers who collide with protesters.
In April 2017, the North Carolina House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation that would not hold drivers who collided with protesters liable as long as they “exercise due care.” After chaotic protests blocked interstate roadways in response to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police, the bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Justin Burr, said, “This bill does not allow for the driver of a vehicle to target protesters intentionally… It does protect individuals who are rightfully trying to drive down the road.”
Though GOP lawmakers insist otherwise, Democratic Rep.…