Several environmental groups are speaking out at the State capitol today against two bills that would impose stricter fines for trespassing.
The groups, Bold Oklahoma, ACLU of Oklahoma, Sierra Club, and Hashtag No Plains Pipeline, are calling on members of the public to stop House bills 1123 and 2128 from becoming law. These bills establish new fines and prison sentences for trespassing at sites deemed "critical infrastructure." If passed, these would especially impact those participating in peaceful protests against oil pipelines.
The ACLU of Oklahoma said in a release, these bills "seek to chill free speech and discourage acts of civil resistance in Oklahoma." The ACLU, along with several local environmental groups, believe these bills are unconstitutional.
Last week, both bills passed through the House. The vote was largely divided along party lines with a majority of House Republicans supporting. Both bills could go before Senate committees as early as this week.
The group is answering questions today at 11:00 a.m. in the capitol press room.