In response to the 2020 protest, the General Assembly has directly attacked constitutionally protected speech in its effort to stifle dissent.
Senate Bill 211, presented in 2021, was a direct response to the 2020 racial justice protests. Your voice and a broad coalition of advocates stopped it in its tracks. It would have stifled free speech by enhancing penalties for protest-related charges. It would also have made it illegal to camp in public areas, directly targeting peaceful occupiers of Injustice Square in Louisville. This provision would have inadvertently made it illegal for people without housing to camp – even if shelters are completely full – criminalizing some people's very existence. Lawmakers should be seeking more dialogue instead of attempting to silence the people they represent.
While this legislation failed in 2021, we expect similar proposals in 2022.