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What are your rights during a protest?

As protests across the nation are scheduled to take place this weekend, know your rights before you head out.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As protests across the country are happening and scheduled to take place, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we compiled a list with some of your rights as a protester. 

The first thing to keep in mind is the First Amendment protects your right to "peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

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However, here's what the American Civil Liberties Union says you should know in case you are confronted by a police officer: 

- You can protest in public space, such as streets, sidewalks, or parks. If organizers are expecting a big crowd, however, they should contact the municipal government in order to get permission to block traffic. 

- You can distribute pamphlets and flyers. You can chant and engage in debate with the public. 

- You can photograph and film the police. 

- Remember that what you say to the police is important and whatever that might be, it can be used against you and give officers an excuse to arrest you. 

- You have to provide your name, address, and date of birth to the police and if you refuse, you can get arrested. 

- The Fourth Amendment gives you the right to deny consent to a search of yourself or your belongings. 

- Although free speech is protected by the First Amendment, the Constitution does not protect obscene speech. Additionally, you do not have the right to incite violence or threaten others. 

- If your actions endanger others during a protest, you can be arrested. 

- You can't block a building entrance. 

- You can't protest on private property. 

- You cannot interfere with police work. Also, refrain from touching or antagonizing officers. 

If want more information on your rights as a protester, visit the ACLU website.


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