Bill would make violent protesters ineligible for federal unemployment aid


A protester stands in a cloud of tear gas near a burning garbage truck outside the Kenosha County Courthouse, late Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. Protesters converged on the county courthouse during a second night of clashes after the police shooting of Jacob Blake a day earlier turned Kenosha into the nation’s latest flashpoint city in a summer of racial unrest. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – An Indiana congressman has proposed a bill that would punish violent protesters by prohibiting them from receiving federal unemployment assistance if they are convicted of a federal offense related to protests.

The proposal from Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) – known as the “Support Peaceful Protest Act” would also order individuals to pay restitution to the law enforcement agency that responded to police the protests and cover the costs of federal policing of demonstrations. That amount would be determined by a court.

Banks said the bill designed to crack down on violence and looting.

“Antifa thugs are descending on suffering communities,” the Fort Wayne Republican said in a news release, “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.”

Violent protests have been reported nationwide in several US cities since.

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