25 January 2020
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties today launched the 8th installment in its Know Your Rights series, a guide for protesters.
Doireann Ansbro, ICCL’s Senior Research and Policy Officer, compiled the guide with input from protesters, law enforcement officials and legal professionals working in the area of protest rights. She said:
“The right to protest has always been a fundamental part of ensuring positive change in Ireland. With the range of challenges we face today from climate change to the housing crisis, protesters are as active as ever and their voices as important. It’s vital that both protest groups and public order police understand what the right to protest involves.”
The launch is to be followed by a private training session for protest leaders which will focus on protesters’ rights before, during and after a protest, and particularly what to do in case of arrest.
Ms Ansbro said:
“During our national consultation with protesters in 2019, there was a real thirst for information about protesters’ rights, for example, when gardaí can legitimately restrict a protest, or what to do if arrested for protesting. This booklet aims to answer some of those questions. At the training session this afternoon, we also hope to empower protest leaders to bring this kind of information back to their various groups.”
Mr Brian Storan, a barrister, will be one of the trainers. Mr Storan has worked to defend protest rights for 10 years. He said:
“The right to protest is the lifeblood of democracy. There is a delicate balance in working to stay on the right side of the criminal law in exercising the high constitutional and European Convention Human Right to protest peacefully. We must fight in the courts to keep the modalities of protests meaningful.”
Find the guide here: https://www.iccl.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Know-Your-Rights-Protest.pdf
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is Ireland’s leading independent human rights campaigning organisation. We monitor, educate and campaign to secure human rights for everyone in Ireland.
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