Know your rights at a rally

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Julian Kilchling/File

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In anticipation of the alt-right rally and counterprotests scheduled for Aug. 27, both the city and the campus are concerned with keeping people safe during these protests. Although the rally was canceled by the organizer Friday, some believe that protests are still likely to occur this weekend.

What is the best way to stay safe during the rally?

In a press release last week, the city of Berkeley recommended that the best way to stay safe is to stay away from the now-canceled Aug. 27 rally, even if people are planning to protest peacefully. The city added that events like this draw the attention of police away from those who are intent on committing violence or causing damage.

Are you allowed to record police?

The Berkeley Police Department has a page called Protest 101 that outlines for activists, organizers and media how to participate in demonstrations safely. The page affirms that people have the constitutional right to film or photograph officers taking action while in public.

Are you required to listen to police?

“Follow the lawful instructions of a police officer or public official, such as staying behind barricades, dispersing from an area declared an unlawful assembly, not resisting arrest,” UC Berkeley said on a webpage that was emailed to students. “It is against the law to disobey a lawful order by a police officer.”

What are you not allowed to bring to a protest?

The department has released a list of items that will be prohibited at the protests, such as metal pipes, pepper spray and firearms.

How is a rally different than a protest?

According to campus African American Studies professor Michael Cohen, confronting another organized group is very different than protesting or marching for a general political cause, such as in the Women’s March. He advised people to protest safely by sticking to a group of friends and making sure to watch out for one another.

You and your friends and fellow marchers have to protect each other,” Cohen said in an email. “Then, when the time is right to leave, everyone walks everyone home.”

Contact Kate Tinney at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @K_Tinney.

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  • FreedomFan

    It’s okay to punch a nazi, or anyone you suspect of being one, as long as he is white.