us

America's long history of protest

The often overlooked – and frequently squelched – right to stand up (or sit down) and demand change

By Michelle Krupa, CNN

Published September 5, 2018

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Like religion and the press,

the freedom to protest

is protected by the First Amendment. It says:

“Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Getty Images

Protest

has been an American tradition since before the republic was founded.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Stamp Act agents

refused to do their jobs as colonists declared: no taxes without representation.

And Bostonians

dumped British tea in the harbor rather than paying taxes on it.

MPI/Getty Images

Public protests

after the deadly Triangle clothing factory fire in 1911 helped forge key legal protections for workers.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Protest and parades

in the same era helped win women the right to vote.

FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Protests, bus boycotts, sit-ins and marches

decades later forced a civil rights revolution.

Morton Broffman/Getty Images

Student protests

against the Vietnam War divided the nation and helped end US involvement.

Keystone/Getty Images

Recent challenges to the

right to protest

have included mass arrests, police curfews, outlawing masks and penning demonstrators in "free speech" zones.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has suggested

protesting

should be illegal.

“I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters."

The Daily Caller

September 4, 2018

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Still, his presidency has sparked a

new era of protest.

We've seen demonstrations over

women's rights ...

... immigration policy ...

... racial justice ...

... historic symbols ...

... safety in schools ...

... and the latest nominee to the US Supreme Court.