Free Speech Press Release

05.23.15

ACLU Releases Protester Advisory

CLEVELAND—With demonstrations occurring in Cleveland, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has released a protester alert. This advisory gives basic information about the rights of protesters, the limitations of those rights, and what to do if these rights are violated.

“We have an important and constitutionally protected right to peacefully protest in this country,” said ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link. “This advisory will help protesters anticipate and, if possible, avoid confrontations with law enforcement.”

The ACLU protester advisory also makes clear the difference between protected speech and civil disobedience, in which protesters choose to break the law, and face potential arrest in order to make a point.

“The ability to protest about important civic matters is core to our First Amendment rights, and must not be impeded by law enforcement or other government officials,” said Link. “At the same time, protestors should be educated on their rights and what they can and cannot legally do.”

Recently, several groups in the city, many affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement, have organized protests of the trial verdict of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo and the investigation of the death of Tamir Rice.

For more information, visit www.acluohio.org/protest.