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Freedom of assembly

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"Sammankomsten" ("The Meeting"), oil painting by Ester Almqvist, original at the Swedish National Museum. The painting was chosen by the UN as a motif for a stamp commemorating the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, paragraph 20: the Right of Assembly.
Janitorial workers striking in front of the MTV building in Santa Monica, California. Although striking in a trade union is a way of exercising freedom of assembly and freedom of association, other aspects of the conduct of the workers depicted here, such as pedestrian blocking of vehicle traffic in whichever direction has the right of way at this signal-controlled intersection, may violate local or state laws such as California Vehicle Code § 21950(b).[1]
Posted excerpt from the US Constitution, at an Occupy Oakland event, 2011

Freedom of peaceful assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right or ability of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their collective or shared ideas.[2] The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political right and a civil liberty.

The terms freedom of assembly and freedom of association may be used to distinguish between the freedom to assemble in public places and the freedom to join an association. Freedom of assembly is often used in the context of the right to protest, while freedom of association is used in the context of labor rights and the Constitution of the United States is interpreted to mean both the freedom to assemble and the freedom to join an association.[3]

Human rights instruments[edit]

Freedom of assembly is included in, among others, the following human rights instruments:

National and regional constitutions that recognize freedom of assembly include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ California Vehicle Code § 21950(b): "No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk."
  2. ^ Jeremy McBride, Freedom of Association, in The Essentials of... Human Rights, Hodder Arnold, London, 2005, pp. 18–20
  3. ^ See: NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 898 (1982); Healey v. James, 408 U.S. 169 (1972); Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Virginia, 377 U.S. 1 (1964); United Mine Workers v. Illinois State Bar Assn., 389 U.S. 217 (1967).
  4. ^ "Constitution of Bangladesh: Chapter III". Prime Minister's Office. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  5. ^ Citizensinformation.ie. "Fundamental Rights under the Irish Constitution". www.citizensinformation.ie. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  6. ^ "Constitution of Ireland". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  7. ^ "The Italian Constitution" (PDF). The official website of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. Archived from the original on 2016-11-27.
  8. ^ "Constitution of Russia: Article 30". Adopted at National Voting on December 12, 1993.
  9. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Kungörelse (1974:152) om beslutad ny regeringsform Svensk författningssamling 1974:1974:152 t.o.m. SFS 2018:1903 - Riksdagen". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  10. ^ Situación de la criminalización y represión en Venezuela- 2018 (PDF) (in Spanish). Caracas, Venezuela: Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social (published February 2019). 17 December 2023.

External links[edit]