NYC Bill Classifies Blocking Traffic As Domestic Terrorism

Under a dramatic proposal by a Democratic New York City lawmaker, blocking traffic as a form of protest would legally be considered an act of domestic terrorism.

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato of Queens has had enough of anti-Israel protesters disrupting already congested commutes. Pro-Hamas demonstrators are continually frustrating drivers across the Brooklyn Bridge and through the Holland Tunnel to make their questionable points.

Amato’s bill would establish a Class D felony for impeding passage on public roads, bridges, tunnels and transportation facilities.

Conviction would bring the possibility of seven years in prison.

The bill followed the dramatic upswing in such protests in recent months following the Hamas terrorist invasion of Israel. Leftist opponents of the Jewish state coordinated several actions targeting rush hour traffic and leading to maddening shutdowns of main thoroughfares.

The language of the proposal recognizes the constitutional right to peaceably assemble. “However, when those who protest directly hinder the ability for pedestrians and motorists to freely move, impacting their ability to arrive at a location, or seek aid, that is unacceptable.”

The legislation cites such protests as creating “fear” and “panic.”

Amato faces a strong challenge in this year’s race for the Assembly, and some political observers believe the bill may be an effort to reposition herself in her district. She narrowly won her 2022 race against Republican Tom Sullivan by only 15 votes.

Her Queens district has noticeably shifted conservative over the past several years.

Republican Councilwoman Joann Ariola of Queens commended the bill for sounding “great.” She cautioned, however, to wait and see if “this isn’t the legislative version of a photo op. Well meaning, but no substance and all for show.”

Queens Assemblyman Sam Berger, another Democrat, is currently the bill’s only co-sponsor.

Several proposals have been introduced in New York since the heinous Oct. 7 attack to counter the groundswell of leftist support for Hamas terrorists. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul backed a package in January that would expand the state’s hate crime law to include arson and graffiti.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell reported that at a major January disruption spawned by anti-Israel protesters, some 325 people were arrested. Most will face “misdemeanor charges with a desk appearance ticket.”