Defending the Right to Protest

Resisting Government Crackdowns on Nonviolent Demonstrators


Whether it is to hold governments accountable, call for action on climate change, or demand equal rights, people worldwide are coming together in unprecedented numbers to seek social change through nonviolent demonstrations.

In many countries, though, governments have met these protests with repression: from violent crackdowns in Myanmar, Chile, and Sudan, to the adoption of bans and restrictions on protests in Egypt, Sri Lanka, and the U.S., and the deployment of surveillance and facial recognition technology against protesters in Israel, Uganda, and Russia.

Far from accepting these attacks, civil society has been pushing back. We’ve seen strategic litigation to reform restrictive measures, the establishment of lawyers’ networks to help protesters, cooperation with local authorities to safeguard protest rights, and an array of other tactics.

In Defending the Right to Protest: Resisting Government Crackdowns on Nonviolent Demonstrators, ICNL provides an overview of critical threats to peaceful protest worldwide and shares important tools that civil society can use to defend and advance the right to protest. Download the full briefer here.