SD House Sends Riot Boosting Bill To Gov

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota House yesterday passed Gov. Kristi Noem’s proposal to revitalize laws that punish people who “urge” rioting.

The bill is intended to prevent a repeat of the violent protests that greeted the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota should construction start the Keystone XL pipeline.

Noem had similar legislation passed last year, only to see most of it found to be unconstitutional – leading her to agree to a settlement with the ACLU not to enforce those section.

She argues this version addresses those concerns while protecting peaceful protests and punishing only people who engage in violence.

Before the vote, Native American groups opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline protested at the South Dakota Capitol. Native American groups say the legislation aims to silence peaceful protests of the pipeline.

Nearly a dozen protesters chanted as they danced to a drumbeat and held banners to protest the so-called “riot boosting” laws. The protesters demonstrated for several minutes before Capitol police asked them to leave because they did not have a permit for the event.