This morning the ACLU-WV came out with activists and advocates from across the state to speak out against House Bill 4615, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.
This bill is an attempt to silence and intimidate environmental protesters and is the literal embodiment of guilt by association. Not only does it create excessive fines and penalties for things that are already illegal – trespassing and destruction of property – it also holds organizations criminally liable for those damages. This is an affront to our First Amendment freedom of association.
There was a strong showing of opposition at the hearing this morning with 22 speaking against the bill (and at least one written statement submitted) and only 3 in support. Many drove for hundreds of miles to speak out against this bill and share their experiences and discuss the dangers of such a bill. We are grateful for all of those who came out to speak and share their strong opposition to this legislation. We are hopeful that the Delegates in attendance will take these words to heart and oppose House Bill 4615.
You can find the statements given by ACLU-WV staff linked below. You can contact your delegate(s) to share your thoughts on this bill (find their contact information here).