SB 250 bad legislation

To the editor:

A right fundamental to Western civilization is free speech; the ability to come together, to speak out on issues in society and to find a solution to them is what keeps our society functioning. However, in the Ohio Legislature, SB 250 — primarily sponsored by Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction — would increase punishment those whom corporate entities deem as inconvenient to their infrastructure projects. Individuals would be charged with felonies, not misdemeanors.

Do not be fooled by the mask this bill wears; it uses the guise of being for infrastructure and the public good in order to steal liberties from the people to empower corporations. This legislation requires government force to be enacted. Hypothetically, John and Mary can be charged with a felony for merely refusing a pipeline to pass through their private property. This curtailment of basic human rights should serve as a wake-up call to the average citizen of the perverse nature of government. The government has no power other than that which it has taken from its citizens. If individuals citizens can’t stand up to oppressive entities without the fear of government repercussions, if they don’t have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, then how is society going to correct itself? If an individual citizen can’t protest against actions that they deemed harmful to the good of the people, then what of our claims to liberty?

This bill is being passed in a lame duck session, which the average citizen typically doesn’t pay attention to; however, legislators take advantage of this ignorance to steal our freedoms. Readers, I leave you with this, no truer words have been spoken on this, Wendell Phillips said: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few.” It’s time for the citizens of Ohio to be watchmen and start paying attention to what our legislators are looking to pass unbeknownst to us.

Oscar Herrera