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The Right to Protest



PROTEST: A MATTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS. Public mobilisations, social protest and human rights are intertwined. Firstly because people generally take to the streets to reject state violence and protest against violations of their rights: to land, to food, to work, to housing, to religious freedom, and so on.

Secondly, the act of protest itself entails exercising rights, such as to freedom of expression and the rights of assembly, petition and dissent. Democracies are enriched by protests because of their expressive nature, but also their deliberative and confrontational tone. More about the project→ –– Español→

A partnership with CELS and INCLO, with support from the ACLU:

What are the meanings behind the worldwide rise in protest?

RICHARD YOUNGS
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Large-scale protests have become more numerous and geographically widespread in recent years. While much debate among international relations experts has focused on the shift in power away from the West to rising economies, equally significant in the nascent era of global politics is the rise of citizen mobilisation.

Previous periods have, of course, witnessed bouts of protest. Today’s wave of protests is relatively unique, however, in effecting all regions of the world, with similar patterns of revolt spanning diverse national and cultural contexts. Read on...

 

How should states respond to social protest?

How should states manage assemblies in the new age of protest?

CHRISTOF HEYNS
Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria

With the increase in worldwide protest over the past decade, domestic and international standards for state protection and management of demonstrations needs to be pursued.

"Less-lethal" weapons in Jerusalem: "The purpose of these bullets isn’t corresponding to the reality"

AN INTERVIEW WITH TALI MAYER
An Israeli photojournalist working in East Jerusalem

A photo project with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, documenting "non-involved" Palestinians injured by sponge-tipped crowd-control bullets.

Protest in the Black Lives Matter movement: an interview with activist and lawyer Justin Hansford

AN INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN HANSFORD
Professor of Law at Howard University, Washington DC

In the wake of new demonstrations in St Louis, we discuss the integral role protest has played in BLM; how the movement has brought forth a cultural shift, and how protest dynamics have had to change in the Trump era.

The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo: "We were born on the march"

MARCELA PERELMAN AND VERONICA TORRAS
From CELS and Memoria Abierta, Argentina

A look at the 'Madres' protest movement in Argentina, which culminated in a massive demonstration in May 2017, against impunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

"Where is Santiago Maldonado?": protesters demand answers

CELS TEAM
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, Argentina

"Social movements online: "The right to free speech should apply with full force on the internet"

AN INTERVIEW WITH MATT CAGLE
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Lethal in disguise: do crowd-control weapons need to be more tightly regulated?

INCLO
International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations

The act of protest

Why is protest fundamental for democracy?

ANNA NORMAN
openDemocracy

Why is protest a fundamental pillar of any democracy? We posed this question to delegates – human rights academics, lawyers, journalists and activists – attending an international conference on protest in Buenos Aires in May 2017, organised by CELS (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales).

Interviewees include representatives from Physicians for Human Rights, Ni Una Menos, Article 19, Centro Prodh Mexico, CODEHUPY in Paraguay, and South Africa’s Legal Resources Centre. Read on...

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