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Know Your Rights Free Speech in Chicago. Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself. History of Free Expression in Chicago. Presentation Overview. General 1 st Amendment principles Current Chicago regulations impacting freedom of expression What to do if you are stopped by the police or arrested

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Know your rights free speech in chicago
Know Your RightsFree Speech in Chicago

Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself



Presentation overview
Presentation Overview

  • General 1st Amendment principles

  • Current Chicago regulations impacting freedom of expression

  • What to do if you are stopped by the police or arrested

  • What you can do to defend free speech in Chicago



General free speech principles1
General Free Speech Principles

The general rule:

No regulation of messages


General free speech principles2
General Free Speech Principles

The First Amendment does NOT protect a few narrow categories of expression.


General free speech principles3
General Free Speech Principles

  • “Incitement”

  • “True threats”

  • “Fighting words”



When do i need a permit1
When do I need a permit?

  • I need a permit when …

    • Paradesin the street and free expression in the sidewalk that block the flow of pedestrian traffic

    • Large groups in Chicago parks

    • Other public spaces may require permits


When do i need a permit2
When do I need a permit?

  • I don’t need a permit for…

    • Small groups

    • Free speech activity that does not obstruct pedestrian or vehicle traffic

  • Deadlines for permits do not apply to…

    • Spontaneous responses to current events


Other laws impacting speech
Other Laws Impacting Speech

  • Blocking traffic and entrances

  • Harassment

  • Loud sounds

    • Disorderly conduct

    • Many of the above categories fall into unprotected disorderly conduct

    • Failure to follow dispersal orders



The illinois eavesdropping act1
The Illinois Eavesdropping Act

The Illinois Eavesdropping Act prohibits the audio recording of any conversation – whether private or non-private, and whether secret or open – absent all-party consent.


The illinois eavesdropping act2
The Illinois Eavesdropping Act

If the subject of recording is a police officer, the penalty is increased, to as many as 15 years of incarceration.


The illinois eavesdropping act3
The Illinois Eavesdropping Act

To be clear: this act prevents audio recording, not taking photographs or video recording with the audio function turned off.


A few notes on civil disobedience
A few notes on civil disobedience


A few notes on civil disobedience1
A few notes on civil disobedience

  • Civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws as a form of protest.

  • Often these are valid laws, such as laws preventing people from blocking the street.

  • The First Amendment generally does NOT protect such acts.


A few notes on civil disobedience2
A few notes on civil disobedience

  • When police issue dispersal orders, they must carefully distinguish between those protesters who intend to be arrested for civil disobedience, and those protesters who do not know their presence is unlawful.

  • An Illinois statute and a Chicago ordinance prohibit resisting arrest. The former has been applied to “going limp” during arrest.



What do i do if i am stopped by the police1
What do I do if I am stopped by the police?

  • Stay calm. Don’t run. Don’t argue, resist, or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them.

  • Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.


What do i do if i am stopped by the police remain silent
What do I do if I am stopped by the police?-Remain silent-

  • You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions.

  • While you are on foot in a public place in Illinois, if a police officer asks you to identify yourself, you cannot be arrested for refusing to answer, but you can be arrested for giving a false answer.

  • If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. If you do talk to the police, do not lie: doing so often is a crime.


What do i do if i am stopped by the police searches
What do I do if I am stopped by the police?-Searches-

  • You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may “pat down” your clothing if they reasonably suspect that you possess a weapon.

  • You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.



What do i do if i am arrested resisting arrest
What do I do if I am arrested?-Resisting Arrest-

  • Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair.

  • Remember, going limp is a form of resisting arrest in Illinois.


What do i do if i am arrested right to a lawyer
What do I do if I am arrested?-Right to a Lawyer-

  • Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer. Don’t give any explanations or excuses.

  • If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one, unless a fine is the only penalty for the crimes you are accused of committing.

  • Don’t say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without a lawyer.


What do i do if i am arrested phone calls
What do I do if I am arrested?-Phone Calls-

  • You have the right to make a local phone call.

  • You should not talk about the facts of your case over the phone from jail, because the police might be listening.


What do i do if i am arrested be prepared
What do I do if I am arrested?-Be Prepared-

Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested:

  • Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer.

  • Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.


What do i do if i am arrested getting released
What do I do if I am arrested?-Getting Released-

  • If you were arrested for a fine-only offense or for a misdemeanor, you usually will be eligible for prompt release from the police station lock-up pursuant to an individual recognizance bond (often called an “I-bond”).

  • It’s important to have a photo ID. You may be released more quickly.

  • No more than 48 hours after your arrest, and regardless of the charges, you have the right to appear before a neutral judge.


What do i do if i am arrested documentation
What do I do if I am arrested?-Documentation-

  • Try to learn and remember the names and badge numbers of all police officers involved in your arrest.

  • Try to remember all the details of your arrest, and write them down as soon as possible.

  • If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately, photograph your injuries, and obtain a copy of all treatment records.


Important information for non citizens
Important Information for Non-Citizens

  • If you are a non-citizen, ask your lawyer about the effect of a criminal conviction or plea on your immigration status.

  • Don’t discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.

  • If an immigration agent visits you in jail, do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.


If your rights are violated
If Your Rights are Violated

Contact the ACLU of Illinois:

Phone: (312) 201-9740

Email: complaint@aclu-il.org

Online: http://www.aclu-il.org/intake


Defend free speech in illinois
Defend Free Speech in Illinois

  • Join the ACLU of Illinois email list: http://action.aclu.org/ilemail

  • Follow us on Facebook & Twitter (@ACLUofIL)

  • Read more about your rights: http://rights.aclu-il.org


Know your rights free speech in chicago

Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself

http://rights.aclu-il.org