2021 Iowa law cracking down on protests would apply to trucker blockades

JOHNSTON — Governor Kim Reynolds says people involved in blockades and occupations like the one that’s been going on in Canada would be quickly arrested if that happened in Iowa, but Reynolds is expressing sympathy to Canadians who’re unhappy with that country’s vaccination requirements.

“The means don’t justify the end, but I’m telling you it is a reflection of where people are at today,” Reynolds said this weekend during an appearance on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS.

Reynolds approved a state law last year that raised the penalties for protest-related crimes. It created a new crime called “interference with public disorder control” and people convicted of “unlawful assembly” can be sentenced to up to two years in prison. Iowa law now provides civil liability protection to drivers who accidentally hit protesters blocking roads.

Demonstrators began blocking the streets of Ottawa, Canada on January 28 and police began making arrests and towing vehicles late last week.