OKLAHOMA CITY — Today, the Oklahoma Senate began the day by trampling the rights and liberties of Oklahomans in favor of those with the most power and access, themselves included. On the final passage of HB 1643 and HB 1674, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following statement.
The following is attributable to Tamya Cox-Touré, Executive Director:
“The Oklahoma legislature is attempting to silence the voices of their constituents and criminalize vital calls for accountability and racial justice. Today, as Black Senators raised concerns about their constituencies, who face a disproportionate threat of harm if this legislation becomes law, Senate leadership treated passion from Black legislators as rage, as unbecoming of the decorum of the body. That same perspective sees Black folks calling for justice and deems protesting as rioting. What is unbecoming is the fact that these anti-freedom policies are passed with a veil over their true intentions--to chill speech, criminalize accountability, and let us all know that a majority of the legislature cares more about protecting the deadly power of the state than they do about rights and liberties, or even public safety.”
The following is attributable to Nicole McAfee, Director of Policy and Advocacy:
“In a body that prides itself on prioritizing freedom, a majority of members of the Oklahoma Senate advanced key legislation today in an anti-freedom agenda unrivaled by any other state legislature in its unabashed attempts to center power, order, and white supremacy over the rights, liberties, and lives of Oklahomans, especially Black and Indigenous Oklahomans. We’ve said it time and time again--this legislation is not about safety. It is about centering the convenience of people who already have the power and protections of the law. It is about responding to calls for transparency by protesters and the media with the criminalization of those transparency efforts rather than with self-accountability. It is now up to the Governor to heed the voices of Oklahomans and uphold his duty to the Constitution by vetoing these dangerous attacks on freedom.”