The brazenness with which proponents of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement attempt to bully and threaten communities and institutions into capitulation has escalated over the past year, and a confrontation that occurred in the halls of one state legislature this week suggests that the trend shows no sign of abating.
According to Fox News, the Oklahoma House of Representatives was forced into lockdown on Wednesday when a group of demonstrators shouting “Black lives matter” and similar refrains descended on the building in protest of a series of GOP-backed proposals, including one designed to protect citizens who may inadvertently find themselves caught up in dangerous rioting.
Nearly 25 demonstrators made their way into the chamber’s fifth floor gallery as the legislative session was being conducted below. The purpose of their appearance was to voice opposition to bills under consideration by the state’s House and Senate, both currently under Republican control.
Folks are trickling into the House pic.twitter.com/miDBHfrstZ
— Dillon Richards (@KOCODillon) April 21, 2021
The outbursts were in response to a number of legislative proposals that the demonstrators claim are anti-protest and anti-transgender. One such bill increases the potential penalties for those who block traffic while protesting and also protects motorists who unintentionally hit others while attempting to depart the scene of a demonstration.
Other bills that drew the ire of the demonstrators include proposals that would safeguard law enforcement officers and their relatives from doxxing and one that would ban transgendered individuals who identify as female from participating in girls’ athletic competitions, as Oklahoma City ABC affiliate KOCO reported.
In a particularly alarming exchange, a demonstrator engaged in a heated, nose-to-nose encounter with a lawmaker who had entered the gallery to investigate the disturbance, though a female protestor ultimately succeeded in separating the pair. Once the discontented visitors began to depart the fifth floor observation area, another woman assailed the group as “traitors, insurrectionists [and] seditionists,” as Fox News noted.
Though assistance from Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers was utilized to escort demonstrators from the premises, and a canine unit was used to ensure that no threats were left behind, it did not take long for business as usual to resume in the House chamber, according to Fox News.
The events in Oklahoma come on the heels of a demonstration at the Iowa Capitol earlier this month in opposition to legislation that would bolster qualified immunity for police and enhance penalties for certain criminal offenses committed during protests. Though the rally of social justice activists was eventually dispersed, one woman was arrested for assaulting a law enforcement officer, according to the Des Moines Register.