GOP Governors of MD and VA demand enforcement of old law prohibiting protests to "influence" judges

On the 12th of May, the Washington Post reported that MD GOP Governor Hogan and VA GOP Governor Youngkin are demanding that the Federal DOJ enforce an obscure 1950 Federal law criminalizing any and all protests aimed at "influencing" judges in pending cases. This is an effort to suppress peaceful protests at the homes of SCOTUS judges who are about to take away the rights of women and of LGBTQ folks to control their own bodies.

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Since the leaked draft decision to overturn Roe v Wade, protesters have appeared night after night at the homes of the robed criminals who wish to force women to submit to legal control of their bodies to please religious extremists. These are peaceful protests, which at the moment remain legal in the US and are normally the means people turn to first to influence what laws are made. These laws do one thing: they determine who gets arrested, assaulted, and shot by police, sent to a cage where they may wish they were dead, or strapped down on a gurney and executed outright. With GOP states already talking about charging women with murder over abortion, it is clear that the death penatly is on the table. The decision about whether or not a Black or Brown woman in the South dies shaking on a gurney, her arms shot full of state government poison may be made in one of these homes in Chevy Chase or Virginia.

For now, VA State and local police have refused to enforce a state level law about home demos, as the one time they took someone to court with that law they lost the case. Having that law formally overturned by the VA state Supreme Court would be rather expensive for the cops right now.

If the government does decide to start putting people in jail or prison for peacefully protesting to save abortion rights, they should think long and hard about the consequences of doing so. This is NOT an issue where people have the option to stop fighting and go home because the costs and the risks go up. The risks of not fighting back extend all the way to being executed for murder after receiving an abortion out of state. Far more common will be jail terms and "intensive probation" with GPS monitoring and a curfew for months or years. Cases will be brought based on commercially bought and sold app data records and phone location data. Subpeonas won't be needed as this data is bought and sold among advertisers.

Therefore, if protest is outlawed, only outlaws can protest and people get the choice between becoming outlaws now under their own terms or becoming outlaws later after being prosecuted for abortion or for same-gender sexual relations. There is no option to submit peacefully to laws that will force thousands to commit suicide and more to die at home because they dare not go to the hospital. For GLBTQ folks there will be no option to submit to laws that make anything other than celibacy a felony, enforced by a combination of war on drugs police tactics and those used against sex workers and their customers. Those will be the same tactics used against abortion, and in some states no doubt by the same police units. Peaceful submission to this will have as consequences as bad as or worse than those of peaceful submission to a grinding occupation of one's neighborhood by foreign troops.

People have no valid option NOT to "seek to influence" the Supreme Court on criminalization of abortion, same-gender relations, and transgender life. This is because the Court is deciding whether or not to permit state governments to "seek to influence" what people do with their own bodies by armed force. Laws are enforced by arrests. Arrests are made by armed police, who are permitted to shoot and kill those who put up sufficient resistance to defeat lesser assaults. Demanding that people not seek to influence any and all decision makers in this process is the hallmark of fascist and authoritarian governments around the world.

In many other countries, criminalization of nonviolent dissent has driven social movements underground, often forcing the start of an armed insurgency. This is how the civil war in Syria began-with the use of police torture and murder to suppress peaceful protest against Assad. What is now happening in the US is rather what we would expect if Trump was still in office-or if he had been removed from office and replaced by Michael Pence. MAGAts and theocracy advocates are marching arm and arm, getting ready to light up Tiki torches of gender based hate and oppression. Police departments in GOP states are warming up their computer labs, charging their Taser batteries and cleaning their guns for "social cleansing" sweeps targetting anyone who is not an obedient CisHet Christian who has sex only to have children.

We must understand, there is no surrender, we can take no one step back. We must fight on, with hope or without it. Whatever the price may be, we must defend our bodies and defend our lives.

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