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 Once again our elected state representatives are attempting to nail a lid on the constitutional right to protest, assemble, and express contrasting ideas. The recent bill passed by the state Senate to ostensibly protect businesses from property damage perpetrated by so-called professional anarchists is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate and punish citizens who get off the couch and activate their right to protest.

Laws that punish violence and mob rule are already on the books and have been so for generations. I suggest that these elected officials see themselves as police rather than representatives of the people. Controls and censorship seem to be the prevailing philosophies driving many folks in the Arizona government and feeding on people’s fear of the “what ifs” is their tactic to nail down the commonweal to a prescribed set of behaviors they deem acceptable.

No responsible citizen supports violence or mob rule, but this bill assumes that there is a demon lurking in every shadow and every living room and so will punish citizens for even discussing the possibility of expressing their right to protest. What are they afraid of – a broken window or an open society?

BILL ANDERSON

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Flagstaff

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