Defending Dissent

Dissent and the ability to publicly express beliefs and opinions are essential to democracy. Protests and public gatherings are a central tool of public expression and engagement, often serving as the only avenue for advocacy seeking political, social, or economic reform. Despite the importance of protest to a free society, many states have failed to adequately protect protest and public speech. In fact, policing institutions overwhelmingly treat protests, assemblies, and other gatherings as security threats that should be discouraged.
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