Action Alert: Protect the Right to Protest and Cashless Bail
We need your help to stop two dangerous and regressive bills that will be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow, March 8, at 4pm.
- SB 171 criminalizes the right to protest and authorizes violence against protesters. Audaciously named the “Safe Communities Act of 2022,” SB 171 undercuts community safety and violates the rights guaranteed to Georgia’s citizens in both our state and federal constitutions. SB 171 would antagonize the thousands of Georgians who have exercised their constitutional right to assemble, demonstrate, and organize for racial justice and an end to state-sanctioned violence in recent years. Learn more here.
- SB 504 is the latest and most egregious attempt to punish poor people by requiring cash bail for pretrial release. SB 504 would require judges to impose cash bail for every felony offense, even as those accused are entitled to the presumption of innocence. SB 504 will force poor people to remain in jail, while those with resources – charged with the exact same offenses – can purchase their release. This will also further exacerbate the current crisis of COVID-19 ravaging the lives of incarcerated people. Learn more here.
Please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee listed below and ask them to VOTE NO on SB 171 and SB 504. You can find a script below and more information using the links above. Phone calls are the best way to reach lawmakers right now, but if you aren’t able to call, you can save time and click here to send an email to all the committee members.
|Chairman||Brian Strickland||404.463.6598||[email protected]|
|Vice Chair||Bill Cowsert||404.463.1366||[email protected]|
|Secretary||John Kennedy||404.656.0045||[email protected]|
|Member||Bo Hatchett||404.656.7454||[email protected]|
|Member||Kay Kirkpatrick||404.656.3932||[email protected]|
|Member||Ben Watson||404.656.7880||[email protected]|
|Member||Blake Tillery||404.656.5038||[email protected]|
|Member||Harold Jones||404.656.0036||[email protected]|
|Member||Elena Parent||404.656.5109||[email protected]|
|Member||Michael “Doc” Rhett||404.656.0054||[email protected]|
Use this script or share your personal reasons for opposing this legislation: “Hello, my name is [INSERT NAME] and I have a message for [INSERT SENATOR]. I’m calling to demand that the Senate Judiciary Committee vote NO on Senate Bill 171 and Senate Bill 504. These overly punitive bills rely on harsh criminal penalties that will undermine safety in our communities and fairness in the criminal legal system. SB 171 violates the fundamental right to protest that has been essential to movements to fight racial injustice and other forms of oppression. SB 171 would also roll back the historic progress made last year when the General Assembly repealed citizen’s arrest, a law that similarly condoned vigilante violence. And SB 504 will rob elected judges of discretion, force burdensome costs on local governments, and punish poor people who can’t afford to purchase pretrial release. Please vote NO on SB 171 and SB 504. Thank you.”