The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. 35 Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 27, states, “The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good.’’ What constitutes peaceful protest and limitations on such speech has been questioned for decades. Law enforcement agencies have, over the years, used various means of restricting free speech and peaceful assembly. Recall, during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, snarling dogs and high-powered water hoses were used in addition to other brutal physical attacks and excessive use of force on adults and children alike. This presentation examined current jurisprudence surrounding these issues. It questions what the future of the First Amendment right to protest does and should looks like while affirming the need to defend this critical right in protecting democracy. It further demonstrates the need to expand the constitutional protection for peaceful protestors as it relates to racial and social justice.
Guidry, Sarah; Washington, Honorable Craig; Weeden, Larry; Rodney, Roy J.; and Oginni, George
"Panel IV Discussion: The Future of 1st Amendment Protections: Examining the Use of Brutality on those Fighting Against Violence,"
The Bridge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Legal & Social Policy: Vol. 6
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.tsu.edu/thebridge/vol6/iss1/6