Letter to the editor: New law will stifle dissent

With Gov. Doug Ducey having signed legislation (HB2404) adopted by ‘our’ Republican-controlled legislature to make it nearly impossible to bring initiatives to the ballot, I would encourage voters to join the efforts to repeal HB2404. Today it seems to be fashionable to silence and punish those who disagree.
Republican politicians throughout our nation are working to pass bills that would criminalize protest and civil disobedience.
In a year of historic activism, that response isn’t just unconstitutional: It’s fundamentally un-American. They do not want to see millions of people protesting as they strip away health care, decimate public education, wage a war on science, weaken labor laws and environmental protections, condone discrimination based on gender or sexual identity, build walls instead of bridges, and shut down citizen initiatives that would protect civil liberties and human rights.
Our nation was born of rebellion. Nonviolent protest is the most effective weapon against discrimination and injustice. Through public marches, picketing, sit-ins, rallies, petition drives, and teach-ins, protesters contribute their time, energy and passion with the hope of making a better, more just society for all. The civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement, the labor movement, and the environmental movement have changed government policy and, perhaps more importantly, changed how we live today.
“Trust me – I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” is no longer believed by members of the general public – and for good reason.
Because secrecy and lack of transparency sow discontentment and distrust, I would suggest that our politicians and policymakers end their annual assaults on the people’s right to know by hiding behind the cloak of ‘confidentiality’ and free us of policies and laws which serve only to stifle dissent, suppress our votes, silence our voices, and discourage public protest.
Stand up and speak out for “we, the people.” Repeal HB2404!

James Kimes
Prescott Valley

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.