FLORENCE, Ala. — A senate bill passed through local legislation is upsetting some Shoals residents. They’re calling it an anti-protester bill and an infringement on their rights.
Senate Bill 152, in regards to Lauderdale County, would place certain restrictions on qualifying public forums—like protests.
Senator Tim Melson introduced the bill. Racial justice group Project Say Something held a news conference at the Lauderdale County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon where members voiced their frustrations, saying that the bill would allow a municipality to limit the number of people at their protests and in some cases, make organizers pay an application fee.
Project Say Something members said they feel like this was targeted at them because of their Confederate monument protests.
“The bill is a retaliation,” Project Say Something Founder Camille Bennett said. “Even though the monument still stands, there’s been a movement that happened in our community that was unified and diverse and strong, and this bill is an effort to break it and to silence us.”
Project Say Something will have an Occupy Downtown protest Friday, March 19 at the Lauderdale County Courthouse beginning at 6 p.m. The group will speak out against the Confederate monument as well Senate Bill 152.