LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A bill that proposes making mass picketing unlawful passed the Arkansas Senate on Monday and now heads to the House.
Introduced by Senator Trent Garner (R-El Dorado), Senate Bill 550 defines mass picketing as an "assembly of persons in the use of pickets or demonstrations at or near a business, school, or private facility."
The bills states that a person commits the offense when they prevent lawful work, interfere with people entering their place of employment, or impede traffic on public roads, railways, or other forms of travel.
People can also be arrested if they engage in mass picketing at a private residence that interferes with the entrance or exit of the house or if there is a threat of violence.
If passed, someone can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
The ACLU of Arkansas calls the bill an anti-protest bill.
"The First Amendment guarantees the right to speak and assemble," the group said in a tweet shortly after the bill passed the Senate.
The bill will now head to the House after passing the Senate in a 22 to 6 vote. We will keep you updated on its progress.
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