Protecting the Right to Protest

"Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it." -Howard Zinn

The guides below are provided in the spirit of collegial advice and do not constitute legal advice.  The guides are in PDF format and will open in a new window when you click on the links.

Street Guide: What to Expect from the LAPD.  This brochure provides general information about what to expect during anti-war demonstrations. click here.

Your Right to Demonstrate and Protest:  This brochure provides general information about your right to demonstrate and protest. click here.

Student Free Speech Rights:  This brochure provides general information about the free speech rights of students.  It includes specific information about the rights of students planning walkouts to protest the war against Iraq. click here.

Dealing With the Police: General Guidelines for Activists.  This brochure provides general information about dealing with police encounters and how to respond to police questioning and searches. click here.

Arrest Information:  This brochure provides general information about what to do when you are arrested during a protest. click here.

Militant Picketing:  This brochure provides general information about how to engage in "militant picketing during a labor dispute.  The brochure is in English and Spanish. click here.

What to Do When Someone Tries to Make an Unlawful Citizen's Arrest:  This brief guide provides information on how to fight back when some tries to make an unlawful citizen's arrest. click here.

Questions and Answers About Civil Disobedience and the Legal Process: This 13-page document provides a general overview of the legal issues relating to participation in civil disobedience. click here.

Laws Concerning Protests and Civil Disobedience:  This document contains selected provisions of the California Penal Code, Los Angeles Municipal Code, and other laws that the police often use in connection with political protests or civil disobedience actions.  In connection with some provisions, sample jury instructions are provided to help understand the elements of the criminal offense.  In addition, Los Angeles Municipal Code provisions on such matters as the regulation of noise and the types of sticks you can use to hold demonstration signs are also set forth.  Keep in mind that this is a list of the laws police use; their use in some circumstances may be unconstitutional.   [Updated January 1, 2006.] click here.