Vast Majority of U.S. House Votes to Criminalize Protest (H.R. 347)

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution declares that the people of the United States have a right to assemble, speak and petition the government for redress of grievance that cannot be abridged. But with the passage of H.R. 347, the Congress has gone ahead and abridged that right anyway. H.R. 347 (bizarrely named the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act”) declares that whoever knowingly engages in protest near a building where the president is doing his business is guilty of a federal crime if the protest “impedes” or “disrupts” the flow of government business or official functions.

“Whoever
… knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions
…or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is–
(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if–
(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or
(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and
(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.”

No more demonstrating at presidential appearances, at least not if you don’t want to be arrested. No more demonstrating even near wherever the president is, even if nobody gets hurt, even if no property is damaged, even if nobody trespasses (see section b(2)). Raise your voice too loud and bother the president as he goes about his business and you can get tossed in federal prison for a year. Even talk about doing such a thing can get you a year in prison.

The members of Congress who voted for H.R. 347 struck against a blow against freedom of assembly, freedom of protest, and freedom of speech.

We The People? House Passes H.R. 347, Turning Protest Into a Federal CrimeWho are the members of Congress voting for H.R. 347? The list is 388 members long, too long to list here.

Who are the members of Congress voting to stop H.R. 347? In Roll Call #73, they number just three:

Rep. Justin Amash
Rep. Paul Broun
Rep. Keith Ellison

15 Comments

on “Vast Majority of U.S. House Votes to Criminalize Protest (H.R. 347)
15 Comments on “Vast Majority of U.S. House Votes to Criminalize Protest (H.R. 347)
  1. Pingback: Huge Majority of U.S. House Votes to Criminalize Protest Against any Visiting World Leader | Irregular Times

  2. All other articles reporting the votes against HR347, report Rep. Justin Amash
    Rep. Paul Broun and Rep. Ron Paul … all republicans.

    Your article however reports that Rep. Keith Ellison (a democrat) voted against the bill, and does not mention Ron Paul as one of the three who voted against it. Was this an unintentional misprint on your part, or was it intended to black out Ron Paul?

  3. Yes, it is all part of a grand conspiracy to make Ron Paul look bad.

    Actually, no, it’s not. I just couldn’t resist writing that.

    Go to the congressional source, which we link to here. The final vote to accept the Senate version and pass the bill on to the President’s desk for signature is the vote we reference here. Ron Paul didn’t show up for that vote, and Keith Ellison did indeed vote no.

  4. Pingback: H.R. 347: Criminalizing Protests? | The Barrister

  5. Pingback: Dismantling the 1st Amendment | pamibe

  6. Secret Service could stop Lawful Protest..Lawful..Clearly this is a problem and a major restriction on our Constitutional rights. The next one coming will say it’s unable to write anything that impedes the government from carrying out its policies. Better wake up America or your time will be limited. Ronald Reagan said Freedom is precious and within a generation can become extinct.

  7. I will not be voting for either of WVs federal senators, or for WVs district 6 congresswoman for voting for HR 347.

    Tom Aaron,
    85 Edgewood Acres,
    Sutton, WV. 26601

    304-765-2781

  8. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution declares that the people of the United States have a right to assemble, speak and petition the government for redress of grievance that cannot be abridged. I would love to see the day when my constitution gets abridged.

  9. Well Mr. Toeller, you have your wish. Your First Amendment rights have just been abridged. Now, what are you going to do about it? Little more than post your opinions on a website I imagine. It seems that is the new way for political protests; all that our government will tolerate from us, for now. How long before we are like China and have no voice without sacrifice of life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness. Shame on anyone in support of this measure. Shame.

  10. So I figured out what happened Paul missed the vote on the 27th Feb 2012 but made a NAY vote 28 Feb 2012 for the “final vote”. Apparently Ellison had wanted to amend the resolution but was not able to and ended up voting YEA the following day. “Final Vote” 28 Feb 2012
    FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 149
    (Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

    H R 347 2/3 YEA-AND-NAY 28-Feb-2011 7:03 PM
    QUESTION: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended
    BILL TITLE: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act

    Yeas Nays PRES NV
    Republican 223 3 14
    Democratic 176 16
    Independent
    TOTALS 399 3 30

    —- YEAS 399 —

    Ackerman
    Adams
    Aderholt
    Akin
    Alexander
    Altmire
    Andrews
    Austria
    Baca
    Bachmann
    Bachus
    Baldwin
    Barletta
    Barrow
    Bartlett
    Barton (TX)
    Bass (CA)
    Bass (NH)
    Becerra
    Benishek
    Berg
    Berkley
    Berman
    Biggert
    Bilbray
    Bilirakis
    Bishop (GA)
    Bishop (NY)
    Bishop (UT)
    Black
    Blackburn
    Blumenauer
    Bonner
    Bono Mack
    Boren
    Boswell
    Boustany
    Brady (PA)
    Brady (TX)
    Braley (IA)
    Brooks
    Brown (FL)
    Buchanan
    Bucshon
    Buerkle
    Burgess
    Burton (IN)
    Butterfield
    Calvert
    Camp
    Campbell
    Canseco
    Cantor
    Capito
    Capps
    Capuano
    Cardoza
    Carney
    Carson (IN)
    Carter
    Cassidy
    Chabot
    Chaffetz
    Chandler
    Chu
    Cicilline
    Clarke (MI)
    Clarke (NY)
    Clay
    Cleaver
    Clyburn
    Coble
    Coffman (CO)
    Cohen
    Cole
    Conaway
    Connolly (VA)
    Conyers
    Cooper
    Costa
    Costello
    Courtney
    Cravaack
    Crawford
    Crenshaw
    Critz
    Crowley
    Cuellar
    Culberson
    Cummings
    Davis (CA)
    Davis (IL)
    Davis (KY)
    DeFazio
    DeLauro
    Denham
    Dent
    DesJarlais
    Deutch
    Diaz-Balart
    Dicks
    Dingell
    Doggett
    Dold
    Donnelly (IN)
    Doyle
    Dreier
    Duffy
    Duncan (SC)
    Duncan (TN)
    Ellison
    Ellmers
    Emerson
    Engel
    Eshoo
    Farr
    Fattah
    Filner
    Fincher
    Fitzpatrick
    Flake
    Fleischmann
    Fleming
    Flores
    Fortenberry
    Foxx
    Frank (MA)
    Franks (AZ)
    Frelinghuysen
    Fudge
    Gallegly
    Garamendi
    Gardner
    Garrett
    Gerlach
    Gibbs
    Gibson
    Gingrey (GA)
    Gohmert
    Gonzalez
    Goodlatte
    Gosar
    Gowdy
    Granger
    Graves (GA)
    Graves (MO)
    Green, Al
    Green, Gene
    Griffin (AR)
    Griffith (VA)
    Grijalva
    Grimm
    Guinta
    Guthrie
    Hall
    Hanabusa
    Harper
    Harris
    Hartzler
    Hastings (FL)
    Hastings (WA)
    Hayworth
    Heck
    Heinrich
    Heller
    Hensarling
    Herger
    Herrera Beutler
    Higgins
    Himes
    Hirono
    Holt
    Honda
    Hoyer
    Huelskamp
    Huizenga (MI)
    Hultgren
    Hunter
    Hurt
    Inslee
    Israel
    Issa
    Jackson (IL)
    Jackson Lee (TX)
    Jenkins
    Johnson (GA)
    Johnson (IL)
    Johnson (OH)
    Johnson, E. B.
    Johnson, Sam
    Kaptur
    Keating
    Kelly
    Kildee
    Kind
    King (IA)
    King (NY)
    Kinzinger (IL)
    Kissell
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    Landry
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    Larsen (WA)
    Larson (CT)
    Latham
    Latta
    Lee (CA)
    Levin
    Lewis (CA)
    Lewis (GA)
    Lipinski
    LoBiondo
    Loebsack
    Lofgren, Zoe
    Long
    Lowey
    Lucas
    Luetkemeyer
    Luján
    Lummis
    Lungren, Daniel E.
    Lynch
    Mack
    Maloney
    Manzullo
    Marino
    Markey
    Matheson
    Matsui
    McCarthy (CA)
    McCarthy (NY)
    McCaul
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    McDermott
    McGovern
    McHenry
    McIntyre
    McKeon
    McKinley
    McMorris Rodgers
    McNerney
    Meehan
    Mica
    Michaud
    Miller (FL)
    Miller (MI)
    Miller (NC)
    Miller, Gary
    Miller, George
    Moore
    Moran
    Mulvaney
    Murphy (CT)
    Murphy (PA)
    Myrick
    Nadler
    Napolitano
    Neal
    Neugebauer
    Noem
    Nugent
    Nunes
    Nunnelee
    Olson
    Olver
    Owens
    Palazzo
    Pallone
    Pascrell
    Pastor (AZ)
    Paulsen
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    Pence
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    Peters
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    Petri
    Pingree (ME)
    Pitts
    Platts
    Poe (TX)
    Polis
    Pompeo
    Posey
    Price (NC)
    Quayle
    Quigley
    Rahall
    Rangel
    Reed
    Rehberg
    Reichert
    Renacci
    Reyes
    Ribble
    Richardson
    Richmond
    Rigell
    Rivera
    Roby
    Roe (TN)
    Rogers (AL)
    Rogers (KY)
    Rogers (MI)
    Rokita
    Rooney
    Ros-Lehtinen
    Roskam
    Ross (AR)
    Ross (FL)
    Rothman (NJ)
    Roybal-Allard
    Royce
    Runyan
    Ruppersberger
    Ryan (OH)
    Ryan (WI)
    Sánchez, Linda T.
    Sanchez, Loretta
    Sarbanes
    Scalise
    Schakowsky
    Schiff
    Schilling
    Schmidt
    Schock
    Schrader
    Schwartz
    Schweikert
    Scott (SC)
    Scott (VA)
    Scott, Austin
    Scott, David
    Sensenbrenner
    Serrano
    Sessions
    Sewell
    Sherman
    Shimkus
    Shuster
    Simpson
    Sires
    Slaughter
    Smith (NE)
    Smith (NJ)
    Smith (TX)
    Southerland
    Speier
    Stark
    Stearns
    Stivers
    Stutzman
    Sullivan
    Sutton
    Terry
    Thompson (CA)
    Thompson (MS)
    Thompson (PA)
    Thornberry
    Tierney
    Tipton
    Tonko
    Tsongas
    Turner
    Upton
    Van Hollen
    Velázquez
    Visclosky
    Walden
    Walsh (IL)
    Walz (MN)
    Wasserman Schultz
    Waters
    Watt
    Waxman
    Webster
    Weiner
    Welch
    West
    Westmoreland
    Whitfield
    Wilson (FL)
    Wilson (SC)
    Wittman
    Wolf
    Womack
    Woodall
    Woolsey
    Yarmuth
    Yoder
    Young (AK)
    Young (IN)

    —- NAYS 3 —

    Amash
    Broun (GA)
    Paul

    —- NOT VOTING 30 —

    Carnahan
    Castor (FL)
    DeGette
    Edwards
    Farenthold
    Forbes
    Giffords
    Gutierrez
    Hanna
    Hinchey
    Hinojosa
    Holden
    Jones
    Jordan
    Kingston
    Lamborn
    LaTourette
    Marchant
    Meeks
    Payne
    Price (GA)
    Rohrabacher
    Rush
    Shuler
    Smith (WA)
    Tiberi
    Towns
    Walberg
    Wu
    Young (FL)

  11. Pingback: New York Times Covers the Squelching of Protest in Moscow, ignores it in Times Square | Irregular Times

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