Protestors have rights, and since we as Black people have so much to protest against, it’s mandatory we know what those rights are. There are things we should be aware of so that our right to take a stand is done safely, effectively, and without us being taken advantage of.
According to the ACLU: “Your rights are strongest in what are known as ‘traditional public forums,’ such as streets, sidewalks, and parks.” Private property owners can make rules for their property. And also keep in mind if you’re a protestor or counterprotestor, police are supposed to treat you equally.
The police also aren’t supposed to shut down a protest for no reason. The ACLU also explains that: “Police may not break up a gathering unless there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, interference with traffic, or other immediate threat to public safety.” Don’t forget!
If the police do try to break up a protest, you’re supposed to be told to disperse and given the amount of time you have to do so, along with the consequences if you don’t. Just because you’re at a protest doesn’t mean the police can freely arrest, abuse, or mistreat you because they please.
If you believe your rights have been violated by police at a protest, get their badge number, witness contact info, and try to remain calm. Take photos of any injuries and take it up with the proper agency’s internal affairs division or with a civilian complaint board. Stay safe and learn more here: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/protesters-rights/#im-attending-a-protest