Sen. Akbari says anti-protest law resembles attacks on ’60s Civil Rights demonstrators

NASHVILLE — Sen. Raumesh Akbari, the Senate Democratic Caucus chairwoman, called out a bill targeting Capitol Hill protestors as a measure designed to shut down dissenting opinion.

The Republican majority in the state Senate approved a bill, which expands police powers broadly and subjectively to provide officers an excuse to arrest and detain more people who are demonstrating.

Sen. Akbari defended every person’s right to protest.

“It doesn’t matter the issue folks are protesting, it’s our right. We’re Americans. I subscribe to the American Dream just like they do even if I don’t agree with them,” Sen. Akbari said. “This law is unnecessary. It is creating felons from people who just want to have their voice heard.

“I wonder if we went back 55 years: would this be the same type of laws that were passed against non-violent protesters? Against those we have made heroes, like Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy and John Lewis.”

If approved by the GOP-dominated House, the measure will unquestionably be signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee.