New 'peaceful protest' bill plans to strip rioters of unemployment aid and make them pay the police costs

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks blasted the ongoing protests in the US saying the rioters were thriving on tax-payers' money and yet destroying communities


                            New 'peaceful protest' bill plans to strip rioters of unemployment aid and make them pay the police costs
Jim Banks (Wikimedia Commons)

At a time when the Donald Trump administration is finding it challenging to contain race violence across the US, a Republican Congressman has come up with a legal proposal to deal with the rioters. Jim Banks, who represents Indiana’s 3rd congressional district, introduced the ‘Support Peaceful Protest Act’ on Friday, August 28, which proposes stripping people caught rioting during protests of federal unemployment benefits and asks that they be made to pay an order of restitution to the police. 

According to Daily Mail which reported this, Banks, a military veteran, hoped the law would shield both peaceful protesters and police officers besides those who fall victim to crossfires. The bill needs to be passed in both the House and Senate before becoming a law. 

Demonstrators march in the streets on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23.  (Getty Images)

The bill proposes that if an individual is convicted of a federal offense while protesting in the presence of the police, he/she will have to “pay an order of restitution...that is equal to the cost of such policing activity, as determined by the court.” Banks has also proposed that those taking part in rioting, looting and arson should be stripped of their federal benefits accessible during the Covid-19 crisis, like the $600-per week assistance provided under the CARES Act. 

'Taxpayers giving wages to jobless rioters'

Speaking to WIBC, Indianapolis, in an interview, Banks said: “Due to enhanced federal benefits, taxpayers are giving wages to jobless rioters that are destroying our communities. We need to cut them off from their funding and make them feel the full financial consequences of their actions.”

“Many of these people are not working. They have the time to show up every day at some of these violent protests like in Washington, D.C. and they’re getting $600 a week of unemployment to do it, and that’s got to stop.”

To back his distaste for the ongoing violence, Banks, 41, said in the interview that he posted a picture on Twitter that showed an elderly couple from Ft. Wayne getting targeted by a mob while leaving the White House where they went to hear President Donald Trump. “The photo of them leaving…has gone viral on the internet,” Banks said, adding: “As they left the angry mob got in their face. A violent mobster with both middle fingers in this woman’s face, trying to incite them.”



 

 

Chaotic scenes prevailed in Washington DC on Thursday (August 27) night after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention at the White House. Trump formally accepted his nomination for the November 3 election in which he will be challenged by Democrat Joe Biden. Veteran GOP Senator Rand Paul and his wife were also heckled and abused on the occasion and the police rushed in to shield them.

Banks tagged Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the tweet to say: “Hey @SpeakerPelosi, these are my constituents. They are good people. If you told these mobs to stop, I have a feeling they would …” The target was clearly the Democratic leadership. 

In his interview, Banks also slammed Antifa saying: “Antifa thugs are descending on suffering communities, disrupting peaceful protests and leaving violence, looting and vandalism in their wake. They turned Milwaukee, Seattle and Portland into warzones, and now they’re moving the chaos to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Who knows which community is next?”

While the riots started after the brutal death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May, the recent cases of shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha has fuelled it. The right-wing voices hit back at the Antifa following the death of a Trump supporter in firing in Portland during clashes between right and Left-wing protesters on Saturday, August 29.