Know your rights at protests and demonstrations

Know your rights and insist that the police respect your rights. Dissenting voices must be heard.

Here is a link to a basic Know Your Rights Guide by the ACLU about your rights at demonstrations and protests. Referring to injuries and militarized police tactics at the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, this Guardian piece reports that the “way opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline have been treated by police is likely to be replicated on a massive scale under Donald Trump.”

Another great resource is this guide to your rights from the National Lawyer’s Guild. This Alternet article has lots of information and links to other resources. The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains the ins and outs of mobile phones, privacy, and tracking during events.

For those in Washington, the ACLU of Washington has a guide that includes state law.

Some highlights from the National ACLU guide:

Can my free speech be restricted because of what I say—even if it is
controversial?

No. The First Amendment prohibits restrictions based on the content of speech. However, this does not mean that the Constitution completely protects all types of free speech activity in every circumstance. Police and government officials are allowed to place certain nondiscriminatory and narrowly drawn “time, place and manner” restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights. Any such restrictions must apply to all speech regardless of its point of view.

Where can I engage in free speech activity?
Generally, all types of expression are constitutionally protected in traditional
“public forums” such as streets, sidewalks and parks. In addition, your speech
activity may be permitted to take place at other public locations that the
government has opened up to similar speech activities, such as the plazas in
front of government buildings.

What about free speech activity on private property?

The general rule is that the owners of private property may set rules limiting your free speech. If you disobey the property owner’s rules, they can order you off their property (and have you arrested for trespassing if you do not comply).

Less optimistic Know Your Rights information is also available from The Clash