Ready to Occupy? What You Need to Know about H.R. 347, the “Criminalizing Protest” Law

by Gabe Rottman

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz . . . and the Occupy movement is about to ramp up again. Activists recently announced a general strike for May 1, and protests are expected at the NATO summit on May 20 in Chicago. Later, of course, we can expect demonstrations in connection with the Republican National Convention in Tampa in late August and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in early September.

Last month, I wrote about a then-little known bill designated H.R. 347 and titled the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011.” The law, signed by the president in mid-March, expands an existing statute that criminalizes certain activity in and around areas that are restricted by the Secret Service.

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