We need your help! HB4615 is on second reading tomorrow, with a final vote on Thursday! Before then, we need to flood the emails of all Delegates with our disdain for this undemocratic bill. They need to hear from you.
House Bill 4615, the anti-protest bill being touted as “criminal infrastructure protection”, is intended to intimidate and silence environmentalists. It hands industry even more power, with no regard for our people. Further criminalizing actions that are already illegal is unnecessary and will further crowd our jails and prisons. The new fine for conspiracy to trespass on these “critical infrastructures” will be set at $5,000 minimum for an individual and $10,000 for a group. There is no cap.
Thursday just so happens to be the 107th Anniversary of Mother Jones’ arrest here in Charleston! West Virginia’s history is rich with protestors that made change. From the Boston Tea Party to the Blackjewel Miners, peaceful protests have worked.
HB 4615 is un-American. A basic right for Americans is the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the country. Protest was a foundational tenant for American democracy, and since our founding days, protest has been essential in raising awareness about injustices to bring about social reforms.
HB 4615 is unconstitutional. The right to peacefully assemble is protected under the First Amendment. We all deserve to live in a society where we can speak our mind without fear of punishment. This is free speech. If a company is polluting our water source or a politician is acting against the people, we should be able to speak up. This bill stops people from criticizing the powerful.
A public hearing, held Monday Morning on HB4615, where concerned citizens came from all over the state spoke to the bill. There were 26 speakers, with only three industry representatives in favor. The people of West Virginia do not want legislation like this.
Contact delegates TODAY to urge rejection of HB4615.