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South Dakota Agrees to Back Off Harsh New Protest Law, ‘Riot-Boosting’ Penalties

South Dakota officials on Thursday agreed to walk back parts of the state’s new anti-protest laws that opponents say were meant to target Native American and environmental advocates who speak out against the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

Gov. Kristi Noem and state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg agreed in a settlement with Native American and environmental advocates that the state would never enforce portions of the recently passed laws that criminalize “riot boosting”—which it applied, not just to protesters, but to supporters who encourage but never take part in acts of “force or violence” themselves.

The settlement, which makes permanent a temporary ruling issued by a federal judge in September, has immediate implications for opponents of the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota and could challenge the validity of similar laws targeting pipeline and environmental protestors in other states.

Read more at South Dakota Agrees to Back Off Harsh New Protest Law, ‘Riot-Boosting’ Penalties