The Revolution will not be televised. Sam Harvey. **Things highlighted in red you may want to write down in your book**. The First Amendment & the Right to Protest. Right to Peaceful Assembly: the right for people to come together and express and defend their interests
**Things highlighted in red you may want to write down in your book**
Public demonstrations that consist of communication of views through the use of picketing, marching, distributing pamphlets, addressing publicly assembled audiences, and other forms of protest
Protesters who communicate ideas by conduct (i.e. marches) are less protected than people who communicate their ideas by “pure speech” like speaking.
“First Amendment” Zones or “Free Speech” Zones: Theseare ways to confine the open expression of ideas to small areas of public property.
Permit or Licensing System: A protest permitis permission granted by a governmental agency for a demonstration to be held in a particular location at a specific time.
Kettling Techniques: This is when police officers wearing riot gear use their bodies to form a barrieraround a group of protesters. The area inside the cordon is called a kettleand the process of enclosing protesters in this way is called kettling.
Limit how and when protesters get to express their views
Usually “national security” is the reason
Government can impose time, place, & manner restrictions
Infiltration (of activist groups)
Surveillance (of activist groups, their activities, members, etc.)
Mass Arrests: This is used to disrupt protest movements by entangling protesters and their lawyers in costly and time-consuming legal battles.
Excessive Force: Force should only be used where strictly necessary and only to the degree absolutely necessary. Police officers are required to use the minimum amount of force needed to achieve a legitimate purpose, but it’s easy for them to abuse their power when things start to overwhelm them and/or get out of hand.
Barricades, Pens, Cages, Protective Bubbles, & Nets: These are used to control and discipline dissent.
Use of Nonlethal or Less Lethal Weapons (i.e. pepper spray, tear gas, rubber or plastic bullets, shotguns that shoot bean bags filled with lead pellets, batons, etc.)
Use of Conducted Energy Devices (i.e. Tasers or stun guns)
They have to balance the people’s First Amendment rights to protest and express their views with the concerns of:
If your rights are being violated by a police officer…
Do not argue with him; it’ll do no good!
Ask to talk to their supervisor and explain your position to him or her
Point out that you’re not disrupting anyone else's activity and that the First Amendment protects your actions
Keep in mind that if you don’t obey an officer, you may be arrested
However, you shouldn’t be convicted if the court concludes that your First Amendment rights were violated
Know your rights and don’t be taken advantage of…
Obeying all of these principles still doesn’t mean that you won’t be subjected to violations of your rights. However, what it does mean is that you would have done everything right and that the law enforcement/government was entirely in the wrong and that you have a real chance in court to fight it and stand up for yourself.
Civil Rights Movement (’60s)
Seattle WTO (1999)
Occupy Wall Street (2011-2012)
Why are protests important to society?
“Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive.” – John F. Kennedy
“Protest and anger practically always derives from hope, and the shouting out against injustice is always in the hope of those injustices being somewhat corrected and a little more justice established.” – John Berger
Harvey, Sam. (2013). Human rights in the United States: the war on dissent and how to fight it.
LSA Senior Project Paper.