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OLBC condemns committee passage of HB 22

So-called "anti-riot" bill seeks to restrict right to protest
June 24, 2021
Democratic Newsroom

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today issued the following statement condemning the House Criminal Justice Committee’s passage of House Bill (HB) 22, legislation that would restrict the right to protest:

“Instead of seeking to heal the rift between our communities and our law enforcement, HB 22 further sows the seeds of fear by attempting to criminalize the right to protest,” said Rep. West. “This bill, not to mention similar legislation pending before this body, takes Ohio in the opposite direction of progress. HB 22 will not promote the safety and security of our officers and of individuals exercising their First Amendment rights. It will only create more tension and potential for conflict.”

“Just seven proponents testified in favor of HB 22, while more than 100 opponents spoke up against it. This is a pattern we have seen far too many times from the General Assembly. We must start listening to what Ohioans are asking us to do instead of forcing unpopular and dangerous bills through the legislative process over their objections.”