With over 13 million people collecting unemployment insurance right now, it’s more crucial than ever to not put those benefits at risk.
Earlier this week, Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) proposed the Support Peaceful Protest Act to the House of Representatives, a bill that would make those, “convicted of violence, looting or vandalism in connection with a protest ineligible for enhanced coronavirus unemployment benefits.”
It would also make a charged protestor financially responsible for any federal policing that their rioting and protesting required. Therefore, not only would they lose access to unemployment benefits, but they would also be held responsible to pay for the hours of policing and any potential damage caused.
Rep. Banks argues that,
“What my bill would do is add new consequences to those individuals who are breaking the law.”
Ultimately, while you are protected under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble, that does not allow you to destroy or deface public and federal property, vandalize businesses, or harass individuals. And with the $600 bonus on unemployment insurance now expired and the Senate still on a recess, it would threaten extremely critical funds for you and your loved ones.
Right now, the bill has only been proposed and would have to first be voted on and passed in the House of Representatives, then presented to the Senate, and finally signed by the President before it would be enacted by law. It currently has no other support from any other lawmakers.
**What are your thoughts about the Peaceful Protest Act? **