Guide to the Law on Protests and Protesters in the United States

Photo: Occupy Wall Street demonstration December 2011. From

The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to “peaceably assemble.”

If you are planning to protest or demonstrate, or you are simply interested in the laws for protesters, you need to know the following areas of law:

1. Free Speech

We have strong protections on free speech and freedom of assembly, but there are limits. See our Guide to Free Speech.

2. Police Actions

There are limits to what police can legally do to stop protesters. See our Guide to Police Conduct.

3. Harassment

If you are harassed by people other than law enforcement, here’s what your rights are: Guide to Harassment Law.

4. Privacy

We have many rights to privacy, both online and offline. See our Guide to Privacy Law.

5. Obeying the Law

If a law is unconstitutional or otherwise illegal, do I still need to obey it?

Generally yes. See our Legal Basics.

Exercise Your Rights

Find a great 1st amendment lawyer

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