"Riot Boosting" Hearing Draws Rally

Jun 13, 2019

Protestors march west on Main Street to the federal courthouse.
Credit Victoria Wicks

ACLU Lawyer Stephen Pevar
Credit Victoria Wicks

South Dakota's "riot boosting" laws faced judicial scrutiny on Wednesday, June 12, in a Rapid City federal courtroom.

The riot boosting law that was passed in the 2019 legislative session works with old rioting laws to threaten protestors and their supporters with criminal and civil penalties.

Opponents say the laws violate free speech.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks was in the courtroom.

To hear long coverage of the riot boosting legislation, click on this link:

https://listen.sdpb.org/post/controversial-new-laws-prepare-pipeline-protests-go-after-riot-boosters

For more of this story, listen to Victoria Wicks's interview with Nick Tilsen, CEO and president of NDN Collective. Link found below.

Nick Tilsen, center, leads protestors in chants at a rally before the hearing.
Credit Victoria Wicks

A long line of activists marched to the federal courthouse in Rapid City on Wednesday, June 12, to show their opposition to the state's "riot boosting" law. The protestors then attended a federal hearing held to determine if the law should be temporarily enjoined from going into effect while litigation continues.

One of the plaintiffs who sued the state is Nick Tilsen. He says protest is a vital component of democracy that should be encouraged, not punished.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.