An alarming bill was approved late last week by the Arizona Senate that shows that the fascist tendencies of today’s Republican party run from the national level all the way down to the local levels of governments. SB1142 is a bill that would almost make it a crime to protest. It states that if any damage happened during the protest, all the protesters would be held accountable and their assets seized. The wording even goes as far as saying that the organizers of the protest, even if they physically weren’t present could be arrested, charged for racketeering and their assets taken. The Young Turks had a nice analysis about it. Needless to say, this ruined our weekend.
Fortunately, there was enough of a national outcry that the Arizona Speaker of the House, J.D. Mesnard killed the bill…for now. We’ve lived here long enough that we have no doubt that the fascist Republicans in this state will try to resurrect this bill in the future when it’s politically convenient.
But there have been a flourishing of anti-protests bills by Republicans in 18 states. This gets us thinking. The Republicans have a Nazi advising Trump and Steve Bannon has made it no secret that he wants to dismantle the government. Since his blueprint for ‘success’ seems to involve Nazi Germany as a model, could a Reichstag fire type event come in the near future?
What’s scary for us here in Arizona are the words of John Kavanagh. He’s the state senator from Fountain Hills, which for you non-Arizonans, is an exclusive, hoidy-toidy community where the well-to-do congratulate each other on how great they are and look down their noses on people who don’t live there. Donald Trump gave a stump speech there. Kavanagh, a former police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has said controversial things before. But about SB1142 he said “You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder. A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists, but this stuff is all planned. Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts? Do you really want to wait until people are injuring each other, throwing Molotov cocktails, picking up barricades and smashing them through businesses in downtown Phoenix?’’ So basically if you even think of doing any kind of a protest, the police could say that you’re an ideologue or provocateur and can just assume that the protest could become violent and bam!…you’re going to jail. Wow! Thoughtcrime! Heinrich Himmler of the Gestapo would be proud.