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Thoughts and ideas from Law offices of Gilbert C Parris

Before you Protest, Check the Demonstration Laws in Your State!

We are living in one of the most emotionally charged eras in modern-day history.  Protests in New York and Philadelphia have started again following the police shooting of Walter Wallace.  Yet another addendum to America’s tense racial relations.  Nevertheless, protestors are well within their rights to voice their discontent.

If you’ve been watching the news, you know that demonstrations in New York and Philadelphia have ended with fire, violence, and multiple arrests.  It’s important to be vocal about change in your community and consistently push your cause forward.  The latter is what democracy is about.  But as we can see, the media coverage of protestors being arrested sully’s the message.  Understanding peaceful demonstration law in your state is vital as there are instances where people are arrested and charged with offenses they didn’t intentionally commit.

For instance, in New York City, you need to acquire a permit for the following:

  • Conducting a march in the streets
  • Use of sound amplification devices (i.e. microphone, speakers, megaphones)
  • Gathering in groups of 20 or more at the New York park
  • Conducting a procession of 50 or more cars. A motorcade.

There are also so seemingly harmless acts that are ILLEGAL during a demonstration in New York that you may not be
aware of, such as:

  • Giving fliers or brochures to people in traffic.
  • Block the entrance to facilities while on the sidewalk.
  • Block pedestrians attempting to pass on the sidewalk.
  • Interfere with police activity, even if it seems unjust.  (Filming from a distance is ok).

It goes without saying that looting, rioting, and assaulting a policeman is against the law in all 51
states. However, at Law Offices of Gilbert Parris Esq, we understand your frustration with the system.
Our firm is fully capable and ready to defend the rights of clients who want to see a world where they feel
protected from injustice but have made some mistakes along the way.

If you or anyone you know was detained and charged during recent protests, you need an experienced defense attorney to help you sort out the facts and protect your rights. Contact our office for a consultation.