Our View: There’s a limit on protestors’ actions

Freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom to redress grievances from government are some of the most basic freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

But there are limits on what protestors can do. Violent actions, destruction of property, and acts that threaten the safety of themselves and others are and should be illegal.

Lately, protestors for groups like Black Lives Matter have taken to marching down to the nearest and busiest interstate highway and shutting it down with their presence. This is illegal, unless they have a permit, but it has not stopped them, and often when someone is charged, the charges have been dismissed.

The Minnesota Legislature has been discussing various proposals to clarify the laws preventing this kind of protest and strengthening the penalties against it. We support that idea. This kind of protest puts tremendous pressure on law enforcement groups like the State Patrol, which has had to shut down traffic on busy freeways so that protestors don’t get run over.

A law aimed at this kind of protest is not an attempt to silence the voices of the protestors. There are still plenty of ways for protestors to get their message across without creating public safety hazards.