Protesters say new bill aims to stop peaceful protests

Updated:

ATLANTA - Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the state Capitol to protest a new bill they say aims to keep them from peacefully protesting.

Organizers said more than 20 different groups were represented at the Saturday protest. 

Project South, Sierra Club, Southern Center for Human Rights, Teamsters and Working Women 9-5 were among those fighting against senate and house bills they believe attack women, minorities, the poor and especially their right to protest.

"People have the right to protest," Terry Day of Teamster told Channel 2's Sophia Choi.  "If Dr. King didn't protest back in his day, where would we be?"

Another group representing Georgia's Undocumented Youth Alliance, said Senate Bill 458 would unfairly ban non-citizen students from going to public universities.

"This land has adopted us when we were kids, and now they're literally pushing us off a cliff," Nayeli Quevada said.

Choi spoke to another crowd of mostly union members, who said Senate Bill 469 would unfairly criminalize non-violent protests and picketing in labor disputes.

"It's a bill that is directly aimed at organized labor," Charlie Fleming of Georgia AFL-CIO said.  "We need to create jobs in this state, not try to control people from being able to picket."

Union members or not, Choi said all of Saturday's demonstrators said they were against SB 469, because if it passes, they fear they may not be able to protest like they are doing this weekend.

At last check, Channel 2 Action News crews did not see any problems or arrests.

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