Action Needed Today: Say No to HB4615

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Regional Action Alert
Supporting Organized Voices and
Empowered Communities Since 1987
 
View Online
 

No to HB 4615

Update: On Feb. 13, an amended version of HB 4615 passed out of the House on a 60-35 vote. Now it is on to the Senate. Watch our website for updates.

Contact delegates TODAY to urge rejection of HB4615.

We need your help! HB 4615 is on second reading tomorrow, with a final vote on Thursday. Before then, we need to flood the emails of all Delegates with our disdain for this undemocratic bill. They need to hear from you.

House Bill 4615, the anti-protest bill being touted as “criminal infrastructure protection,” is intended to intimidate and silence environmentalists. It hands industry even more power, with no regard for our people. Further criminalizing actions that are already illegal is unnecessary and will further crowd our jails and prisons. The new fine for conspiracy to trespass on these “critical infrastructures” will be set at $5,000 minimum for an individual and $10,000 for a group. There is no cap. 

Thursday just happens to be the 107th Anniversary of Mother Jones’ arrest here in Charleston! West Virginia’s history is rich with protesters that made change. 

HB 4615 is un-American. A basic right for Americans is the  right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the country. Protest was a foundational tenant for American democracy, and since our founding days, protest has been essential in raising awareness about injustices to bring about social reforms. 

HB 4615 is unconstitutional. The right to peacefully assemble is protected under the First Amendment. We all deserve to live in a society where we can speak our mind without fear of punishment. This is free speech. If a company is polluting our water source or a politician is acting against the people, we should be able to speak up. This bill stops people from criticizing the powerful.

On Monday morning, OVEC volunteers and staff attended and spoke at a public hearing on HB 4615. We were there alongside dozens of other concerned citizens who came from all over the state to the hearing; in total 23 people spoke out against the bill. Three industry representatives spoke in favor. The people of West Virginia do not want legislation like this. Make sure the legislators continue to hear this!

We have some talking points here, at the bottom of the post, and an infographic here

Contact delegates TODAY to urge rejection of HB4615. 

Public Hearing on HB 4615: Comments from OVEC’s ED

 

 Donate 

No to HB 4615Feb 12 2020  Hoots and Hollers
Public Hearing on HB 4615: Comments from OVEC’s ED
Feb 12 2020  Action Alert
It’s February: Show Democracy Some Love
Feb 6 2020  Hoots and Hollers
Your Rights at Stake: Come to Public Hearing on Anti-Protest Bill
Feb 6 2020  Hoots and Hollers
For the Sake of Your Community, Be Counted: Take Part in the 2020 Census

The Author

OVEC

2 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Existing law already prohibits trespass and malicious destruction of property. This bill is unnecessary!
    This bill is meant to silence opponents of the government and energy companies. It is the oil and natural gas companies that repeatedly trespass on actual critical infrastructure like our clean drinking water sources, when pipelines burst of storage tanks leak.

  2. No to HB4615! No to taking away our right to protest fossil fuel infrastructure! Away with all your poisons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend