Tea party joins unions in opposition to Georgia anti-picketing bill
The Atlanta Tea Party Patriots have joined labor unions and environmentalists in opposition to legislation that would outlaw some types of mass picketing.
“The bill at face value, appears to be geared toward labor unions, but the devil is in the details,” the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots said in an email to members. “It clearly adds a ‘person or organization’, which could include not only big labor, but also Tea Party activists, those protesting outside abortion clinics, or many other scenarios.”
The bill, introduced by Georgia state Sen. Don Balfour (R), would make it illegal to protest outside a private residence or where a labor dispute exists.
It would also allow businesses to ask a judge to halt protests near its location if the protests threatened to interfere with business entrances or certain public areas, a particularly worrisome provision for local “Occupy” activists.
Violating the proposed law could result in a one-year jail term and up to $10,000 in fines.
Teamsters union members, the Southern Center for Human Rights, the Sierra Club and other groups protested the bill outside the state Capitol on Saturday.
“This is not a right or left issue, it is a right or wrong issue,” the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots said.
The bill has passed the Georgia Senate and is now in the House.