Defend free speech in North Carolina
The right to protest is under attack
On May 3, House Speaker Tim Moore introduced HB 805, a bill that would stifle free speech and discourage protests by imposing extremely harsh criminal penalties on people charged with “rioting.” This bill passed the N.C. House very quickly and sent the bill to the N.C. Senate, which could consider it at any point.
We need you to take action today to defend free speech in North Carolina.
Law enforcement could use this legislation to punish people for exercising their right to protest by stacking charges against peaceful protesters. It will almost certainly have a disparate impact on Black and Brown community members who are calling for racial justice.
Very serious charges can be brought against someone who is simply present at a gathering that meets the vague definition of riot - even if they haven’t harmed anyone or damaged property.
Additionally, protesters charged with rioting would face significantly increased penalties, and by requiring a judge, not a magistrate, to set bail for people with riot charges, it all but guarantees that someone arrested at an afternoon or evening protest will spend at least one night in jail before having an opportunity to pay bail and go home.
Use the form below to urge your state legislators to reject this legislation.