September 18, 2014
Victory Front MPs submit bill to regulate street protests
The Victory Front Lower House caucus has submitted a bill to regulate street protests in a move that seeks to “guarantee and reinforce” the rights of citizens forced to deal with roadblocks and traffic chaos. The project bans the carrying of weapon by security forces during demonstrations too.
The 34-article bill, which has been sponsored by MP Carlos Kunkel, aims at setting “precise rules of communal living,” obliging organizations to provide the Police with information on the rally not less than 48 hours ahead of the protest.
Furthermore, security forces will be banned from evicting the site of the protest without the intervention of the Security Ministry’s civil staff.
According to the Kirchnerite project, the official mediator will set the conditions to end the protest, identify demands and coordinate meeting between the demonstrators and representatives of the institutions that people are protesting against whether it is a government or private-sector office.
“Unlike other solutions that aim at restricting rights, turning to the Penal Code to toughen punishments for already existing crimes or categorise new criminal actions, we propose to guarantee and strengthen rights,” Victory Front lawmakers said.
Security agents will be also banned from carrying their weapons “when in direct contact with demonstrators,” the project also reads and points out that those carrying their weapons must keep a reasonable and “prudent distance” during the protest. “The use of public force will be limited to its minimum expression”.
“The state will guarantee that legitimate demonstrations, that seek to show the vindication of rights or demands before public or private authorities, have the adequate promotion in public media,” the Kirchnerite-sponsored text adds.
“Everybody has the right to protest but not blocking roads, stopping people from going to work. We will have to legislate on a respect and urban coexistence rule”, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had already warned when inaugurating the 132nd period of sessions of the National Congress back in March, giving a glimpse of on one of the parliamentary debates to take place this year targeting the regulation of street protests.