Tracker Pixel for Entry

​The consequences of SB 2044

Letters to the Editor | March 20th, 2019

To the editor:

Senate Bill 2044 was introduced in the North Dakota Senate in January, sponsored by Senator Janne Myrdal (R-10), from Edinburg, outlining criminal punishments regarding “interfering”, “impeding”, or “inhibiting” (to name just a few of the many descriptive words) critical infrastructure.

At face value this bill seems reasonable and sound. It seems the intention of this bill is to keep the people of North Dakota safe and their services protected. Unfortunately, there are grave implications that must be considered

Similar bills have been introduced in several other states, and are essentially carbon copies of language from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobby group that works to promote the establishment, preservation, and motion forward of corporate interests within state legislation.

The consequences of SB 2044 could blindside a person or organization involved in peaceful protest. The vague quality of the descriptive words in the document, namely “impede”, “inhibit”, or “interfere” with critical infrastructure could be left open to legal interpretation and manipulation. Worse yet, an organization involved in providing support or services to an individual who decides, independently of that organization, to interfere with critical infrastructure, could be held liable and face exorbitant fines with potentially ruinous consequences.

The bill states: “If an organization is found to be a conspirator with an individual found to have violated subsection 1, the court shall assess on the conspiring organization a fine ten times the amount of the fine authorized by subsection.”

There are already laws in place to penalize damage or destruction to critical infrastructure, I believe this bill is a direct attempt to deter and discourage the exercising of the constitutional right of the people of the United States to exercise free speech and peaceful protest.

Signed,

Linda Weiss

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.eduSummit Carbon Solutions approached North Dakota land owner Kurt Swensonin August 2021, requesting to lease out Swenson’s land to sequester, or store, carbon dioxide underground…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comExhibit recreates and examines the iconic bar’s legacyThere’s something to be said about a good bar. The really good ones serve as a sort of community living room, bringing folks from all walks…

Saturday, December 10, doors 8pm, show at 9pmThe Aquarium, FargoHeavy fuzz rock straight outta Fargo with Hevvy Swetter and Prediction of the Witch.“Closely related to stoner rock, it tends to focus upon downtuned, heavy guitar.…

By HPR Staffsubmit@hpr1.comOur opinion: How can it be 17 years?It’s hard to believe that Ralph’s has been gone for 17 years. I was lucky enough to experience the tail end of its legacy, though technically I wasn’t old enough…

By Ed Raymondfargogadly@gmail.com A Critical Fact: To Fully Understand a Country, One Must Know Its HistoryWe have state legislatures attempting to prevent pre-schools through universities from teaching the real history of our…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comAs someone who’s written a lot of feature stories and press releases, it’s tempting to write something cheesy as a lead for this month’s column. But, instead, this column will actually feature…

By Martin Beckmanbeckmanniscool@gmail.comSpec is a new hardcore band from the Fargo area featuring Josh on guitar, Ethan on vocals, Austin on guitar, Landon on bass and Robby– drummyboy. Spec has been creating waves with their…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com“Citizenfour” Oscar-winner Laura Poitras profiles photographer and activist Nan Goldin in “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.” Like its talented subject, the movie cannot be confined to a…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comIf you’ve ever driven down the Enchanted Highway, the 32-mile ribbon of road connecting Regent to Gladstone in western North Dakota, home to the world’s largest salvaged metal sculptures,…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comPhoto by: Michelle Tait, Memory Makers Old Time PhotographyIn August URL Radio personality Stacy Sturm knew she wanted to do something for Halloween. She tossed around the thought of a Halloween…

By Waylon Hedegaardretiringwithcats@gmail.comFor all those who still decry my departure from the Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian faith, understand that I will never return. I see the examples you set and want no part of…