Free Speech Press Release

10.05.11

ACLU Releases Protester Advisory in Anticipation of Planned “Occupy” Demonstrations in Ohio

Read the protester advisory.

CLEVELAND – In anticipation of planned demonstrations around the state, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has released a protester advisory. This advisory gives basic information about the rights of protesters, the limitations of those rights, and what to do if these rights are violated.

“Peaceful protests are an important and constitutionally protected right,” 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 make a point.

“There is a reason Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous letter from inside the Birmingham jail,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James Hardiman. “He chose to be arrested to highlight injustice. This advisory will help prepare protesters who choose to engage in this kind of civil disobedience for what happens after they make their choice.”

Protest groups are emerging around the state, many affiliated with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in New York City. The demonstrations attracted national attention when over 700 protesters were arrested while marching on the Brooklyn Bridge.