ATTENTION: We are collecting experiences from people who observe or participate in #BlackLivesMatter protests in Alabama. Visit our submission form here.
The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest.
But it is also unfortunately true that governments and police can violate this right – through the use of mass arrests, illegal use of force, criminalization of protest, and other means intended to thwart free public expression.
Also, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain narrow restrictions on the exercise of speech rights.
Standing up for your right to protest can be challenging, especially when demonstrations are met with violence. But knowing your rights is the most powerful weapon you have against police abuse. Read on to learn what you need to know before heading out to exercise your constitutionally protected right to protest.