On June 21st, a federal judge dismissed lawsuits filed against then-President Donald Trump and other federal officials who were being sued for violating the rights of protestors last June. After a group of protestors were forcibly removed from Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 2020, the ACLU of D.C., Black Lives Matters, and others filed suit against Trump, then-Attorney William Barr, and other federal officials alleging that they conspired to violate demonstrators right to protest when they cleared the park to allow Trump to pose for a photo op in front of a nearby historic church.
After the U.S. Park Police (USPP) led law enforcement to forcibly shut down a mostly peaceful protest on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., an hour before a city-wide curfew on June 1st, 2020, the protestors and the press have pushed for answers about who was responsible for the decision. More than a year later, the Department of Interior has published a report with some answers.
This teacher guide examines the role peaceful protest has played in United States history, how the law evolved to ensure greater protections for protest, and contemporary threats to assembly rights. It includes information about the civil rights movement, major court cases, and the philosophy of civil disobedience.