United States Laws
There are no laws against protesting itself. There can not be. It’s a protected right under the federal constitution of the United States of America. If you’re a citizen, you can protest.The first amendment says so…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That does not mean you cannot get arrested while protesting. The rules and laws surrounding protesting can be confusing and may change based on differences in local laws. It is important to familiarize yourself with local laws in the area of the planned protest.
When people do get arrested during a protest it could be for any number of law violations. It cannot be stressed enough, know and understand local law. The following are examples of how one could be arrested during a protest.
- If the police interpret your actions as unsafe to themselves or the general public, you run the risk of arrest.
- Always request permission from owners of private property.
- Public parks may have a curfew. Check with local government about any permits that may be required.
- Practice “Leave no trace”. Do not litter. Do not graffiti. Do not cause damage to property.
Sometimes getting arrested may be the outcome you desire. If it is not, think before you act.