Know Your Rights - a guide for protesters

Friday 18-11-2016 - 16:10

NUS and Defend the Right to Protest (DTRTP) have teamed up to produce a comprehensive Know Your Rights hand book containing lots of practical information about attending a protest.


Protest and direct action are a key part of student organising and the history of our movement. At its best such action can be empowering – offering both visible displays of our collective strength and spaces to connect and organise across our movement.

But at different times such action has also been met with repression and had to contend with successive pieces of government legislation that have increased police powers on demonstrations and undermined our right to protest.

NUS and DTRTP have produced this guide to ensure that all students are aware of their rights and confident in exercising their to right to protest - because experience shows that where we are prepared, aware of our rights and able to access the right advice we are in the best position to both protest effectively and built solidarity and support when its needed.

“This booklet is an invaluable resource for anyone politically active. In my time in the student movement, I have witnessed countless instances of repression, violence and arrest by the State, often sanctioned by our own institutions. We have produced this to ensure that all students aware, and confident in exercising, your right to protest.”

Shelly Asquith NUS VP Welfare


"In 2010 I participated in a powerful student movement for free education and against austerity. During those protests, I almost died after being hit on the head by a police baton. I was later arrested and charged with violent disorder. With the help of many supporters, however, I was unanimously acquitted at trial - along with the vast majority of other student protestors who fought their cases. Through my experience I’ve learned that you need to be prepared when you protest. That means know your rights before you go out, and be ready to collectively defend anyone who faces repression after. But above all, don’t let them stop you protesting."

Alfie Meadows acquitted student protester  



 “International students and other migrant communities are in the midst of one of the worst crackdowns on migrants’ rights in Britain’s recent history and of course they are angry. This anger can be channeled through many avenues, including mass protests. Therefore, it is essential that they are aware of their rights when taking part in protests as they have so much to lose if events take a turn for the worst. We hope this booklet equips and encourages those who want to take part in protests to do so.”  

Mostafa Rajaai NUS International Students Officer



“Mass student participation in direct action have proved an indispensable tool throughout our history, and central to the many gains we have made both locally and nationally: as a movement. But our rights to protest consistently find themselves under attack and students from liberation groups can often face the sharpest impact. We hope this Know Your Rights guide can support students to protect against police abusing their powers and ensure that each and every activist is equipped to defend their rights robustly.” 

Aadam Muuse NUS Black Students Campaign 


You can download the 'Your Right To Protest' handbook via NUS Connect here



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