Protesters Shut Down Blue Line After Dayton Veto of Tougher Law
That didn’t take long. Governor Dayton’s weekend veto of legislation to put more teeth into the law to punish protesters who shut down highways and transit lines already appears to have emboldened left-wing activists.
Protesters have reportedly blocked the Blue Line light rail line this morning, prompting Metro Transit to close off service. KARE-11 issued this update.
Light rail riders had a wrench thrown in their morning commute Tuesday as protesters shut down a busy line in southeast Minneapolis.
Metro Transit confirmed that Blue Line Service was stopped between 46th Street and the Terminal 2 Station shortly before 9 a.m. after demonstrators sat down on the tracks. Images posted on social media showed about a dozen protesters on the scene.
A twitter post indicated that Metro Transit was sending buses to help customers bridge the gap in the route, but it was unclear when they’d arrive, or how the situation would be resolved.
For a second consecutive year legislators passed a bill increasing the penalty from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor for protesters who think they have the right to make their point by disrupting traffic and commerce. But the Pioneer Press reported that Dayton once again concluded the bill was too tough on activists who make up his constituency.
But the Republican-led plan went too far, Dayton said in a veto letter, by using wording that was “unacceptably vague” and could have applied to any protest that delayed a bus route.
That criticism was shared almost universally by Democrats, and House and Senate floor debates on the bill featured some of the most impassioned speeches of the legislative session, with critics raising notions like free speech, tenets of Democracy and the civil rights movement.
Republicans, who hold majorities in both the House and Senate, said stiffer penalties are needed because the level of protest that disrupts transportation causes a higher level of harm to society than a boisterous demonstration.
The logical result of the DFL’s lax attitude toward protesters who stop traffic and transit became apparent today on the Blue Line. But the nuisance couldn’t have occurred to commuters in a more appropriate place–south Minneapolis, a liberal stronghold that voted in the legislators who support the protesters’ right to inconvenience and even endanger others all for the “right” cause.