Legislation that aims to undermine the right of North Carolinians to speak out and assemble is quickly moving to the state Senate this week.
House Bill 805, is an anti-democratic bill that would stifle free speech and discourage North Carolinians from exercising their constitutional right to assemble by imposing extremely harsh criminal penalties.
- If enacted, the bill would not only discourage North Carolinians from exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble, but would disproportionately impact Black and Brown North Carolinians who engage in protests calling for racial justice.
- House Bill 805, sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore, is one of 80+ anti-protest bills being pushed by Republicans across the country. These bills are aimed at undermining Americans’ constitutional rights and community efforts to demand change.
- “This country itself was built upon a revolution and the power of protest. House Bill 805 is a clear and defined attempt to sabotage the people’s natural will to stand up against and directly attacks our first amendment right to gather, protest, and voice free speech..they are attacking our ability to hold them accountable at the ballot box and in the future,” wrote Hausson Byrd, communications fellow at Democracy NC.
The wave of anti-protest bills across the country and in North Carolina are a reaction to millions of us coming together to march each week against systemic racism and racial injustice faced by Black and Brown communities. These anti-protest bills are an attempt to maintain the status quo and prevent more significant change that would lead to a more equitable future for all.
In addition to the 380 bills restricting voting access across the country, Republicans are targeting our constitutional rights in order to silence our communities’ voices and ability to hold them accountable for failing to keep their constituents’ interests in mind.
Bills like House Bill 805 passed by Republicans this legislative session sends a clear message that they will go against the very ideals of our country over listening to the calls of North Carolinians calling for reforms to address the harm of systemic racism.