While there are no laws against the act of protesting, there are laws surrounding the actions that protesting may prescribe. Whether or not one gets arrested will always come down to the particular actions surrounding an incident. The mood of police, the attitude you present or anything in-between. Every situation is different and nothing is guaranteed. The aim is to provide as much knowledge as needed to stay safe. Knowing the laws, knowing yourself and a little preparation go a long way in not only keeping your freedom but in the effectiveness of your protest.
The following laws in Pennsylvania are found on the PA General Assembly’s website.
The statutes of which may pertain to any particular protest could be
§ 2101 Display of flag at public meetings
§ 2102 Desecration of flag
§ 2103 Insults to national or commonwealth flag
§ 3302 Causing or risking catastrophe
§ 3304 Criminal mischief
§ 5501 Riot
§ 5502 Failure of disorderly persons to disperse upon official order
§ 5503 Disorderly Conduct
§ 5504 Harassment and stalking – repealed December 9, 2002
§ 5505 Public Drunkenness and similar misconduct
§ 5506 Loitering and Prowling at night time
§ 5507 Obstructing Highways and other public passages
§ 5508 Disrupting meetings and processions
§ 5509 Desecration, Theft or sale of venerated objects
§ 5511.2 Police Animals
§ 313 Entrapment
This is not a comprehensive list of Pennsylvania’s penal code statutes. Laws may change. Contact your local law enforcement office or an attorney for accurate up to date information.