First, the Walker administration tried like hell to discourage protesting at the Capitol; put in place a permitting process; defining what an organized group is by size; locking the doors; created fees and expensive penalties for police services.
Guess who’s following suit? President Vladimir Putin.
NY Times: President Vladimir V. Putin signed into law on Friday a measure that will impose heavy fines on people who organize or take part in unsanctioned demonstrations, giving the Russian authorities powerful leverage to clamp down on the large antigovernment street protests that began six months ago and seemed to be re-energized after Mr. Putin’s inauguration last month. The penalties could also apply to people who participate in an approved demonstration but who violate the terms of their permit for the event.
We've heard the following excuses before:
By all accounts, Mr. Putin flexed substantial political muscle to have the law adopted, brushing aside any concerns about being seen as restricting free speech or assembly and ignoring reservations even among some of his allies and supporters. Supporters of the measure said it was needed to stem what they called a rising tide of radicalism. Putin tried to portray it as consistent with similar laws in Western countries.
“In fact, this is a ban on rallies and political actions,” Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of Yabloko, a liberal opposition party, told the Interfax news agency. “Now, anyone can be punished with slave’s work or an astounding fine. I cannot call people to a rally knowing in advance that from there they may be sent to the galleys.”
Here’s a look at our new, and current regulations on our First Amendment rights to protest at the Capitol:
Permits are required for any event occurring in any area inside or outside of a State building, 6 unless the event is a bona fide spontaneous event. This paragraph does not apply to events occurring on the State Capitol Grounds.
Individuals or organizations that organize, sponsor, promote or participate in an event may be held liable for law enforcement expenses arising out of the event. Specifically, such persons shall reimburse the State Capitol Police for the deployment of any additional officers to the event site due to the event, and for the overtime costs of any officer arising out of the event if it is necessary to terminate unlawful conduct. If the officer is employed by the State Capitol Police the rate shall be the then current average hourly rate for wage and benefits. If the officer is employed by any other agency the charge shall be the actual cost billed to the Department by the other agency. The State Capitol Police may require an advance payment as a condition for granting a permit