Public Service Announcement – Protesting



The Right to Protest

ACLU
ACLU

The right to protest comes from our right to assemble, right of association and our right to freedom of speech. But that does not mean restrictions can’t be placed on protests. People who want to shut you up will place a lot of restrictions in the hopes that you will violate them.

The ACLU put out a message on Twitter, letting you know what your rights are. Here is their tweet.

KNOW YOUR PROTEST RIGHTS

1. You don’t need a permit to protest in response to breaking news and you don’t need a permit to march in the streets or along sidewalks, as long as you’re not obstructing traffic or access to buildings.

2. When you are lawfully present in any public space, you have the right to photograph anything in plain view, including federal buildings and the police.

3. If you believe your rights have been violated, when you can, write down everything you remember, get contact information for witnesses, and take photographs of any injuries.

4. If you get stopped by the police, ask if you’re free to go. If they say yes, walk away.

5. If you get arrested, you have a right to ask why. Otherwise, say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t sign, say or agree to anything without a lawyer present. 

They Want You to Break the Law

Some states are trying to make you a criminal for exercising your right to protest. They apply ridiculous restrictions and are attempting to make violations a felony offense. There’s a reason for this. Some states do not allow felons to vote. That’s right, it’s a round about way to take away your right to vote.

Take Alan W. Silberberg (@IdeaGov)’s advice.

Reminder to all my friends out in streets doing protest. In some states, they want to arrest you, give you a record so you can’t vote. Do not engage w counter protesters. Do remain peaceful. Do remain within the legal limits of how + where you are protesting. Stay smart + safe.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Don’t forget that the Supreme Court struck down the requirement that law enforcement must read you your rights. They are no longer required to give you the Miranda warning, BUT YOU STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. USE IT!

Safety at All Times

There are people who are willing to hurt you to shut you up. Even people in government. Remember, at least one state has passed a law making it legal to run over protesters. Try to go with a group. Even walking back to your vehicle after a protest can be dangerous. Plan accordingly.

Understand that there will be people at the protest who are pretending to be part of the crowd, but are really there to cause problems. Watch out for them. Do not let them rile you up into committing crimes such as property destruction or assault. They want to make you look bad. They are hoping to turn public opinion against you.

And lastly, don’t depend on the police to protect you. Quite often, they can be the biggest threat of bodily harm you face.

2 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement – Protesting

  1. Random Reader

    I am not a lawyer, and I’m responding too late, but there are some additional and Texas-specific things worth mentioning.

    Respectfully, you get something wrong with your “5. If you get arrested” advice. You missed something, and it could set people up for accidentally committing a crime. In Texas, it is a crime to refused to identify yourself once under arrest, see Texas Penal Code Sec. 38.02. FAILURE TO IDENTIFY.

    https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/PE/htm/PE.38.htm

    Sec. 38.02.(a) reads in part, “A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.” Sec. 38.02.(b) covers giving a false or fictitious identity.

    When you get arrested, the best advice is to give them your ID, and when they ask you for your information, tell them that the info. on your ID is correct. That way, they can’t get you for having incorrect information on your driver’s license either.

    Detained when not driving? Only say “I want a lawyer.”

    Detained when driving? You must give ID, then only say “I want a lawyer.”

    Arrested? You must give ID, then only say “I want a lawyer.”

    In states other than Texas, you might have to identify yourself when detained.

    • admin

      Random Reader – Thank you for this information. While the information the ACLU puts out is very good, it’s still general. Some places have passed laws that require you to identify yourself. We appreciate your correction.

      We would like to ask our readers to help spread the word about our website. Please recommend us to people you know. Thank you

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