There are some measures officials can use to limit protests, and it's easy to accidentally tiptoe into legally murky territory if you don't know the specifics.
So before you go, read up.
The First Amendment gives Americans the right to assemble peacefully and air our grievances. Historically, we've relied on protests to hold power to account -- think the March on Washington
in 1963 for civil rights or the March for Our Lives
demonstration in 2018 for gun control.
The government can't stop you from peacefully protesting, but they can impose some restrictions on the time, place and manner of the protest -- for example, barring protesters from walking onto a public highway or instituting a curfew that affects when protests end, Sykes said.
They can't block a protest simply because of its content, though.
If protests are planned in advance, organizers may obtain a permit so law enforcement can block off public spaces for them to demonstrate, Sykes said.
There are protections, though, for "spontaneous protests" that spawn in response to current events, like the protests that spawned after George Floyd's death
, he said.
The First Amendment does not continue to protect protests that escalate to violence or the destruction of private or public property, he said.
That's when law enforcement has the obligation to respond and deescalate threats of violence, he said.
2. Where can and can't I protest?
A slew of public spaces are OK for protests -- sidewalks, city parks, streets and other public forums are usually lawful, Sykes said.
Some states require you file a permit to block off streets, and the right to assembly doesn't give you the automatic right to march on a public highway, Zick said.