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Rupar writes: "In the wake of heated protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of the cop who killed Anthony Lamar Smith, a self-described Christian lawmaker from Pennsylvania endorsed running over protesters who block roads."

A self-described Christian lawmaker from Pennsylvania endorsed running over protesters who block roads. (photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
A self-described Christian lawmaker from Pennsylvania endorsed running over protesters who block roads. (photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)


ALSO SEE: Car-Ramming: The
Signature Move of the American Fascist

Republican Lawmaker Vows to Run Over Protesters Who Block Highways

By Aaron Rupar, ThinkProgress

16 September 17


Pennsylvania Rep. Aaron Bernstine says he "won't be assaulted in name of 'free speech."

n the wake of heated protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of the cop who killed Anthony Lamar Smith, a self-described Christian lawmaker from Pennsylvania endorsed running over protesters who block roads.

While sharing a news story about the St. Louis protests, Pennsylvania Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R) tweeted that “[i]f anyone EVER tries to stop my car on a highway with negative intentions… I will not stop under any conditions.”

In subsequent tweets, Bernstine called protesters “thugs” and “snowflakes” and vowed he “won’t be assaulted in the name of ‘free speech.'”

Bernstine dismissed replies pointing out that the tactic he is endorsing was recently used by an alleged neo-Nazi to murder a woman during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in addition to militant groups like ISIS.

Saturday morning wasn’t the first time Bernstine — a Trump supporter who’s serving his first term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives — has endorsed running over protesters with vehicles.

(photo: ThinkProgress)

Running over protesters with cars is a tactic conservatives have sought to protect. As ThinkProgress reported last month, Republicans in six states “have pushed for laws this year that would shield drivers who hit protesters. The bills are part of a wave of anti-protest proposals introduced since the rise of the Black Lives Matter and anti-Trump resistance movements.”

As recently as August 15, Fox News’ website was home to a page glorifying running over protesters. A video on the page, which was republished from the conservative Daily Caller, was headlined, “Here’s A Reel Of Cars Plowing Through Protesters Trying To Block The Road.”

“Here’s a compilation of liberal protesters getting pushed out of the way by cars and trucks. Study the technique; it may prove useful in the next four years,” said the page, which was taken down days after the murder of 32-year-old paralegal Heather Heyer in Charlottesville.

Bernstine seems to think that tactic would be appropriate in St. Louis, where demonstrators took to the city’s streets on Friday to protest the acquittal of former city officer Jason Stockley, who shot and killed Smith in December 2011 following a high-speed chase through city streets. Squad car video footage recorded Stockey saying he was “going to kill this motherfucker” before he shot Smith multiple times. But the judge who acquitted Stockey ruled that the state didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the former officer “did not act in self-defense” — a decision protesters heatedly dispute. St. Louis police say the protests that followed the announcement of Stockey’s acquittal resulted in at least 23 arrests and injuries to 10 police officers.

Bernstine was also involved in controversy last month, after he claimed intruders vandalized his 107-acre beef cattle farm in New Beaver. He responded by posting a video to Facebook showing him participating in tactical firearms training, along with the hashtag #CastleDoctrine.

“I will never hesitate to defend my family should someone have tried to take that a step further,” Bernstine told a local news outlet at the time.

In his Facebook post, Bernstine claimed the alleged vandals were “just out of reach of the security cameras on our property.” Another local outlet reported that Bernstine never reported the incident to police.

Bernstine did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress’ request for comment.


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+5 # Thomas Martin 2017-09-16 21:57
Pennsylvania sure elected a contemptible congressman here!
 
 
+10 # heiko2012 2017-09-16 22:10
WWJRO? (who would jesus run over?)
So-called Christian seems like a correct description of this man.
Very sad.
 
 
-2 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-09-17 18:28
Yup. that is what they are asking now.
 
 
-12 # skylinefirepest 2017-09-16 22:20
From babyhood we were told by our parents not to stand in the road...be careful crossing the road. Standing in the road as a form of social protest would seem to be a pretty stupid thing to do. The people driving on that road might be going to a sick parent, have a first job interview, any of a number of reasons to not be stopped by idiots. These people who say they are protesting for social justice don't give a damn about their fellow man. I really don't care how much you protest and I might actually agree with you but...when you stand in front of traffic and cause delays and other problems then I'll laugh when you get your ass run over.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2017-09-20 15:19
Maybe protesting is NOT in the constitution? But... you have heard of the first amendment, no? So you think you have a right to kill people exercising their constitutional rights? How 'Christian' and how 'democratic'!!! How would you have stopped Hitler, or Stalin? What prerogatives or possibilities do people have against an oligarchical plutocratic bunch of corporate thugs and their Pinkerton-like henchmen?
 
 
0 # Citizen Mike 2017-09-16 23:59
Well now, this also opens the possibility that a protester will cut his tires to stop him, then the crowd will drag him out of his car and beat the shit out of him. Cripple him for life as a warning to others.
 
 
+3 # Richard Martin-Shorter 2017-09-17 00:45
Isn't encouraging others to run over protesters qualifying this blowhard for conspiracy to commit murder? Lock him up!
 
 
0 # Richard Martin-Shorter 2017-09-17 00:46
Isn't encouraging others to run over protesters qualifying this blowhard for conspiracy to commit murder? Lock him up!
 
 
+5 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-09-17 08:08
This murderous hothead imbecile does not belong in government anywhere.
 
 
+4 # chrisconno 2017-09-17 10:51
In other words, this guy doesn't believe in democracy so much as anarchy. No rule of law for these right wing extremists who are masquerading as representatives of our constitution. The right wing has succeeded in making protesters the enemy of the state while shielding a president from treason charges. Is our democracy now in free fall?
 
 
0 # farmgoddess 2017-09-18 08:10
It has been for quite some time.
 
 
+1 # Dale 2017-09-17 15:14
I was a demonstrator in the massive 1971 attempt to shut down Washington in protest of the Vietnam war. With a group of Rutgers students are assignment was to shut down Du Pont circle. We stood blocking an access street until a vehicle came at high speed and tried to run us down. We all fortunately side-stepped in time. Hate and violence, lack of respect for dissidence, have no end in the U.S. and is far worse today then in 1971.
 
 
-1 # Cassandra2012 2017-09-20 15:21
Quoting Dale:
I was a demonstrator in the massive 1971 attempt to shut down Washington in protest of the Vietnam war. With a group of Rutgers students are assignment was to shut down Du Pont circle. We stood blocking an access street until a vehicle came at high speed and tried to run us down. We all fortunately side-stepped in time. Hate and violence, lack of respect for dissidence, have no end in the U.S. and is far worse today then in 1971.

And is clearly one of the Repugnican Modus Operandi....
 
 
-1 # Cassandra2012 2017-09-20 15:22
The powers that be made sure to ignore all the people's voices for that war and for the stupid war in Iraq as well.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-09-17 18:30
Get a jail cell ready for this guy. He'll spend a long time there. Since he is a politician, he probably already has a teflon ass. He'll sure need it in the joint.
 

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