Assembly

First Amendment: By the Numbers

First Amendment: By the Numbers

With controversies swirling daily about the freedom of speech and press, what is the state of public support for the First Amendment? Several nonprofit organizations—the Newseum First Amendment Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Knight Foundation—conduct surveys of public attitudes about the freedom of expression. Most recently, the Newseum Institute has also initiated a First Amendment Report Card, enlisting a[Read More…]

A liberty tree with effigies.

From Liberty Tree to Taking a Knee: America’s Founding Era Sheds Light on the NFL Controversy

Symbolic speech as a form of protest, like taking a knee at a football game while others stand for the National Anthem, enjoys a long history in America. It’s been a powerful form of political expression going back to the protests in the colonies in the 1760s against British oppression. Various forms of symbolic expression—liberty trees, liberty poles, effigies of hated politicians, even the use of the number 45—brought multitudes into the political sphere and was critical in building opposition to British rule. Much of this symbolic expression was controversial and even offensive but a powerful form of protest then and now.

November 5, 2017 Assembly, Below the Fold, Speech, Symbolic Speech
Newseum’s First Amendment Report Card

Newseum’s First Amendment Report Card

Every quarter the Newseum Institute produces a “report card” on how the current administration is faring on the five freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. 15 First Amendment experts — academics, lawyers, journalists and activists — from across the political spectrum weigh in. SPRING 2017 Freedom Grade Religion C+ Speech C+ Press C Assembly B- Petition B- First Amendment Composite C+[Read More…]

States Rush to Pass Anti-Protestor Laws

States Rush to Pass Anti-Protestor Laws

America was born in the protests of 1765 to 1776. Large crowds assembled around liberty trees and liberty poles, hanging British officials in effigy, and thousands of people paraded through the streets of colonial towns voicing loud dissent against British taxes and other measures they considered oppressive. Today’s lawmakers seem much more squeamish about the right to assembly, which is[Read More…]

September 19, 2017 Assembly, Below the Fold
Restrictions on Right To Assemble Gain Traction Nationwide

Restrictions on Right To Assemble Gain Traction Nationwide

Penalties, fines and criminal charges are being considered across the country to contain protestors. North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have successfully passed anti-protest bills. Other states are following suit.

August 31, 2017 Assembly, Top Stories