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ICYMI: Rubio, Collins: No More Blocking Federal Highways

Feb 13, 2024 | Press Releases

Pro-Hamas protests blocking federal highways are not peaceful assembly

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Mike Collins (R-GA)

February 13, 2024

Washington Times

“Shut it down 4 Palestine.” This is the cry of pro-Hamas protestors as they block highways throughout the United States…. Their goal is to create chaos by preventing parents from picking up kids from school, blocking ambulances from assisting the sick, and grinding businesses to a halt….

Florida—as well as other states, like Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas—have taken state action against road-blockers. But these efforts don’t apply to federal interstates…. Our Safe Passage on Interstates Act…would criminalize any intentional obstruction of highways that occurs without proper authorization.

Millions of hard-working Americans depend on reliable transportation to get to and from work and put food on their families’ tables. Millions also depend on firefighters, police officers, and medical technicians to reach emergencies in time, and there are countless children who need open roads to make it safely to school and back….

U.S. citizens are free to express support for terrorists who rape, murder, and pillage innocent civilians—though it’s an abhorrent view…. However, no one is free to disrupt the lives of tens of thousands of hardworking people, block emergency services, and hang commerce to dry. That does not count as peaceful assembly, just as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater does not count as free speech.

Criminalizing interstate blockage would give law enforcement additional tools to maintain the peace and discourage these protests from happening in the first place. We hope our colleagues in Congress will pass this common-sense bill soon.

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