First Amendment??? Arizona Wants Power To Seize The Assets Of Protesters

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Top Tier Gear USA

Editor’s Note: Looks like this country is not just regressing back into COINTELPRO days in a big fat hurry, but worse.


If Republicans in Arizona’s senate have their way, police in that state could soon have the power to seize assets and property from protesters, the Arizona Capitol Times reports.

From a February 22 article:

Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated.

Essentially, under this bill cops could arrest anyone at a demonstration that suddenly turns violent, however peaceful it might’ve started. They would even be able to target people who had nothing to do the property damage.

Stephen Lemons, writing for the Phoenix New Times, covered a hearing on S.B. 1142 by Arizona’s Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

Highlighting that certain senate Democrats “noted the obvious: that public protests often involve different groups with varying tactics,” he pointed out that, hypothetically, peaceful protesters could be held responsible “for the violent actions of a different faction or of individuals who act out while others remain calm.”

But it gets even worse than that, as the Arizona Capitol Times pointed out Wednesday: “By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events.”

Planning events. Meaning cops will have the authority to investigate activists before the demonstrations even take place.

This is what Republican state senator Sonny Borrelli, the author of S.B. 1142, called targeting “the money source” in his defense of the bill before the committee meeting last week.

Citing the conservative notion that a legion of privately funded progressive protesters is clogging up governmental works all over the country, Borrelli said the law would go after those “paid to go out and create this damage.”

And if it takes cops infiltrating political groups on the taxpayers’ dime — on the razor-thin pretext of maybe preventing a potentially violent demonstration down the road — so be it, at least according to Republican attitudes in Arizona.

“I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there,” state senator John Kavanagh said, referring to police authority under S.B. 1142 to investigate political demonstrations while in the planning stages.

“Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?” he also said.

Again, potential riot.

The bigger issue at play, as noted by the Arizona Capitol Times, is the chilling effect such legislation would have on free speech. After all, if a person could get arrested for simply participating in a political demonstration — regardless of their own peaceful motives and actions — that person might decline to get involved.

S.B. 1142 would actively enforce the notion of guilt by association. If would punish the innocent who are wishing only to exercise their right of free expression, all because of the actions of criminals.

Such legislation would further complicate an environment of political unrest, made of both positive and negative forces, as State Senator Martin Quezada, Democrat out of Phoenix, highlighted Wednesday:

When people want to express themselves as a group during a time of turmoil, during a time of controversy, during a time of high emotions, that’s exactly when people gather as a community. Sometimes they yell, sometimes they scream, sometimes they go too far.

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  • It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that every debt-ridden organization, governmental or not, is increasingly looking for ways to bail themselves out. Read Dodd-Frank and tell me who you think owns everything that you have deposited into a bank account or safety deposit box. Look for the language that names the depositor as a unsecured creditor to the bank.

  • Howard Beale

    The U.S is circling the drain. When the establishment starts making laws not to protect we the people but rather them from us you know the Empire is doomed.

  • RMS1911

    If this goes through it should be struck down as unconstitutional.
    But they already seize assets from law abiding citizens because you might break the policies.

    • archer

      What I had posted a minute ago is in no way unconstitutional, if you are caught damaging property, you should be made to pay and possibly face jail time, the law as described in the article probably is unconstitutional and poorly constructed.

  • tscull

    I would be all for it if the authorities had to prove that you were a rioter as opposed to a protestor, such as video evidence or good eye witnesses, etc.

  • g.johnon

    so, do we get to confiscate the property of government officials based on the damage they do to society and humanity? or based on damage they are planning to do?

    • Elaine.Benes, II

      Hey, Government Officials, seize THIS asset. They are so full of pomp and grandiosity I want to puke…

  • James

    Very bad. VERY BAD! But the States do need your money any way they can steal it. Be like the drug laws. Plant them for a extra dime as the cops say. It will only make things worse. The more power the cops are gave to abuse the more they are hated today. People can only take so much Shat from them.

  • Clementine

    … they say, as we keep moving closer and closer to martial law and FEMA camps…

  • Elaine.Benes, II

    Wonder what assets THEY will be able to seize when the Citizens have finally had enough and THEY all wind up dead?

    • jimmy joe

      Just think, all it would take is an honest, protest, that the “system” had a problem with, and throw in their OWN provocateur, who is state sanctioned to begin with, and everyone’s assets are now the “systems” to be auctioned off, in front of you!! There you have it folks, an end to protesters, the final solution to allow them to do whatever they want!!

  • Paul Prichard

    The dishonest politicians will sure as heck get an agent provocateur in there so that they can bag all of these innocent people and their assets.

    • CozmicSeer

      In which case the citizens should be able to seize all of the assets of the provocateur as well as all of the police officials involved.

  • The Tuna Fairy

    And when the politicians change again, who will they target under this law? Slippery slopes and camel noses in the tents….

  • Michael

    Why not jail, and confiscate property / money from the organizations, and people that promote / fund the violent protests.
    Soros and the organisations he helps fund, should be at the top of the list.
    Then go after that American hating traitor, Barack Obama

  • G’ma G

    Have you ever noticed that its the sun-baked states like Arizona and Florida full of us seniors where this crap starts?

  • archer

    If you’re caught actually damaging property as we’ve seen, whether it be a window or jumping on a car and causing many thousands of dollars of damage, you should be held accountable and made to pay. This would make a dent in the property crime, the burning of cars should lead to a hefty prison term, and monetary compensation to the owner.

  • If they are Jewish.

  • If they are Jewish.

    • L O

      Or saw fiddler on the roof.

      • Your discernment between Hollywood fantasy and cultural reality appears to be highly problematic.

        • L O

          Evidently Only to you…

  • TheTruthRises

    When the Government fears the people there is Liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny

  • Cl Cupp

    Well I dont see a problem with this since the government wont allow us to shoot rioters like we should be doing. If you join a protest and part of it is no longer protesting but looting and rioting then you should leave asap.

  • L O

    This knife cuts both ways… Law makers would do well to stay away from this one,

  • Jakob Stagg

    Has it ever been any different since the dawn of politics? I think not. Human nature is.

  • hdrider

    A law that stated Apprehended in the act of destroying Public or another s Private Property is needed but being a part of a protest that turns bad you should be told to disperse, if you then choose to remain you made a choice. 5000 protesters 100 troublemakers, you do the math. S.elf police and you will be listened too far better than the other way

  • Public_Citizen

    This is what happens when the political pendulum swings too far in one direction, such as it has been ~forced~ to do the last 8 years.
    There is always a swing back in the other direction which will inevitably overshoot the center point by a wide margin. The farther the pendulum has been forced out of its normal cycle, the farther it will go in the opposite direction.
    As I see it a portion of what is going on here can be categorized as an attempt at payback for what has been forced on states and people the last 8 years.
    Another factor is negotiating strategy, where more is asked for/demanded that is actually expected to be possible in the hope that a larger percentage of what is really wanted will become reality than if lesser demands had been made.

  • mirageseekr

    No mention that video showed a group of well planned and orchestrated paramilitary looking group of persons who did all the damage on college campuses or that the police were told to stand down and allow the damage to occur. Typical problem action solution at work here to further the police state.