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Nigerian-American political strategist and organizer Akin Olla writes for us this morning on how the US Capitol riot risks supercharging a new age of political repression:

Republicans have long called for the increased repression of activists, but the chorus has reached a crescendo in the age of Black Lives Matter and climate protests. In the last five years, 116 bills to increase penalties for protests including highway shutdowns and occupations have been introduced in state legislatures. Twenty-three of those bills became law in 15 states.

Following the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent uprisings, we’ve seen another flow of proposals. For example, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida would like to make merely participating in a protest that leads to property damage or road blockage a felony, while granting protections to people who hit those same protesters with their cars. Following the storming of the Capitol, DeSantis, a Trump ally, has expanded these proposals with more provisions and harsher consequences. The only thing preventing the passage of many of these laws thus far has been opposition from Democrats.

Related: The US Capitol riot risks supercharging a new age of political repression | Akin Olla

The White House liaison to the Department of Justice (DoJ), Heidi Stirrup, sought out derogatory information late last year from a senior justice department official regarding a woman who alleges she was raped by Donald Trump, according to the person from whom Stirrup directly sought the information.

The revelation raises the prospect that allies of the US president were directly pressing the justice department to try to dig up potentially damaging information on a woman who had accused Trump of sexually attacking her.

Related: Revealed: White House liaison sought derogatory info on E Jean Carroll from DoJ official

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