Trumpist Republicans like Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt continue to literally criminalize dissent while screaming about how liberals might criminalize dissent, complete with broad winking and nodding to everyone that turning an "unlawful assembly" into racketeering conspiracy charges for people not present would never be used against white Oklahomans, just the non-white ones.
Governor Stitt signed a bill adding unlawful assembly to Oklahoma's Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
“This is one of many bills passed this session that is aimed at curbing the increase in rioting we have seen over the past year,” said Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore. “Many otherwise peaceful protests are being co-opted by individuals whose goal is to create and escalate uncontrollable confrontation and mayhem, which is certainly not free speech. What is different about this bill is that it is targeted at those who organize, promote, and otherwise incite the riots, violence, looting, and property damage we’ve seen, even if they are not physically present. These bad actors need to be held accountable for their actions in order to keep both peaceful protestors and the public safe.”
Oklahoma's RICO Act is based on the federal government's statute by the same name which was passed in 1970.
The act allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering as part of a criminal enterprise.
Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville added, “Free speech and peaceful assembly are rights guaranteed under the constitution, and I have previously authored legislation protecting those rights—but riots are unlawful assemblies that can lead to the destruction of private and public property, injuries, and even death,” Daniels said. "Those who organize an unlawful assembly or arrange to disrupt a lawful assembly should be held accountable for their actions.”
We know Republicans are already criminalizing dissent to charge Democrats with felonies at the state level (and the only reason Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon was ultimately not charged with two felony counts and a total possibility of eight years behind bars was that the Fulton County DA refused to press charges) so we shouldn't be even remotely surprised at this nonsense.
The bottom line however is that the law is patently unconstitutional, and very clearly targeted at turning any Black Lives Matter protest into an "unlawful assembly" allowing then police to round up "those who organize, promote, and otherwise incite" across the state.
Hopefully the courts rip this one to pieces, otherwise Republicans in Oklahoma will absolutely abuse this.