In an email sent to supporters Thursday evening, the Democratic National Committee argued that protesters who block highways and cause chaos in the streets are protected by the First Amendment.
The email, bluntly titled, “Legal to run you over with a car,” asks for supporters to donate $3 against the alleged Republican assault on the most fundamental constitutional rights of free speech and free assembly.
According to the email, Republicans in state legislatures have “introduce[d] some truly reprehensible bills that violate our First Amendment right to protest this administration.” Of course, the DNC claims the only way to stop the scheming Republicans trying to stiffle protesters is to elect Democrats who will allegedly “protect the First Amendment.”
To support their claim of a Republican war on free speech, the Democrats cite proposals in three states.
In North Dakota, a proposed bill protects drivers who “negligently cause injury or death” to protesters who are blocking traffic on public roads from “liable for any damages.” In Iowa, where people who block highways are already subject to fines of up to $6,250, a Republican proposed a fine up to $7,500 and potential jail time for protesters who block highways. Perhaps the greatest assault on free speech the Democrats cite is a bill in the Minnesota House that would hold protesters responsible for the costs incurred by police responding to their protests.
All of these moves, according to the Democrats, are “direct attacks on our constitutional right as citizens to peacefully assemble.”
What the Democrats consider the constitutional right to “peacefully assemble” in this instance happens to include obstructing highways to the point that emergency vehicles are not able to pass through their route to save lives and jumping on the hoods of cars to try to stop drivers who don’t care about the protester’s pet causes.
The DNC email claims the raised money through the “Republicans want you to run over with their cars” campaign will be used to fight back against Trump by electing Democrats at the local level. By using protesters who endanger people’s lives to fundraise, the DNC has chosen to stand up for protesters regardless of the legal or moral standards—as long as they support the right narrative.