The right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy and at the core of the First Amendment. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials sometimes violate this right through means intended to thwart free public expression.
In recent history, challenges to the right to protest or rally have come in many forms. In some cases, police crackdown on demonstrations or rallies through mass arrests, illegal use of force or curfews. Elsewhere, law enforcement limits expression by corralling demonstrators into so-called “free-speech zones.”
That’s why the ACLU of Wyoming will be training volunteers to become legal observers at 6:30 p.m., April 30 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne.
“Legal observers act as visible witnesses at demonstrations, rallies and other free speech events, documenting any incidents of police misconduct or violations of constitutional rights,” said Antonio Serrano, organizer for the ACLU of Wyoming. “Legal observers are committed to defending free speech in a way that is as objective as possible so that their documentation can be used as evidence if police misconduct or obstructions to constitutionally protected free speech are challenged in court.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: ACLU of Wyoming legal observer training
WHEN: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 30
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, 3005 Thomes Ave.
About the ACLU of Wyoming
The American Civil Liberties of Wyoming is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, as well as the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for people of Wyoming.