Peaceful Protesting Guide

The Democracy Fund presents the "dos and dont's" of peaceful protesting. 


  1. Do ask police “Am I under detention or arrest?” if you are unsure about leaving a police encounter. You can walk away from police whenever you are not under arrest or detention.
  2. Do keep the protest peaceful. You have rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, but those rights do not protect people engaged in violence.
  3. Do keep the protest public. You can protest on streets, parks and in most other public places. You do not have the right to protest on private property.


  1. Do not speak to police if you’re arrested or detained until you speak with a lawyer. Police must tell you why you are being arrested and let you speak to a lawyer. You have the right to speak to a free Legal Aid Lawyer.
  2. Do not refuse to give police your name and contact information if you are arrested. Refusal will result in another criminal charge. Never give police a fake name or address. Police must let you speak to a lawyer.
  3. Do not resist arrest. Doing so can get you hurt and charged with more offences. You can always speak to a lawyer later about suing the police for wrongful arrest.
  4. Do not agree to be searched by police. Unless police have a search warrant, the search is presumed to be unlawful.