You can protest, but you should know your rights — and the rights of others — before you do.
That’s the theme of one in a series of lectures that will be free and open to the public.
In partnership with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission, the Davenport Library will host a series on “Know Your Rights.” Lectures will be weekly through March at the library at 3000 Fairmount St., Davenport, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6.
Among the presenters will be Leonard Sandler, clinical professor of law at the University of Iowa College of Law.
Sandler advocates for and represents people and groups, and advises lawmakers, local governments, companies and community organizations. He has practiced and taught at law schools in Maryland, Vermont and Iowa.
He said people should be aware of what happens if you want to form a protest “in a way that is both safe and honors governmental restrictions they can impose.”
His talk will address “what things you have to consider before you decide you want to go out in to the streets.”
“All this is sort of couched in the First Amendment in the right to assembly and free speech,” Sandler said. “Private property owners are not subject to the First Amendment.”
“There’s a whole host of issues”involved in protests, he said. For example, do you need a permit? “That depends on the rally,” he said. “What happens if you don’t have a permit? Can you distribute leaflets? What happens if you get stopped by police?”
He said people should consider video and photography for marchers’ own safety “or for more nefarious uses by the government."
“It’s going to be an interactive workshop. We will tailor it to Davenport and maybe one of the other Quad-Cities in Illinois,” he said.
Here’s the lineup of lectures:
March 6 – “Traffic Stops. What Should You Do?” presented by Vera Kelly from the NAACP.
March 13 – “Job Searching: What Can Employers Ask?” presented by Mark Holloway from Iowa Workforce Development.
March 20 – “Protests: What Can You Say?” presented by Sandler along with University of Iowa Clinic Law Students Ojone Ameadaji and Evan McCarthy.
March 27 – “Housing: Your Rights as a Tenant,” presented by Latrice Lacey from the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.
For more information, visit www.davenportlibrary.com or call the library at 563-326-7832.