Public Protest

Public protest is one way Americans face freedom. People engage in this time honored method to call attention to a cause, advocate for change, criticize government policy, and gather with like-minded citizens. From small groups of picketers, to demonstrations at town hall meetings, to mass rallies, public protest is part of our civic lives as Americans.

Engaging in public protest carries risks, such as being publicly identified which can cause tensions in a community, family, or at work; as well as the less subtle risk of violence. Throughout our nation’s history there are many examples of violence erupting during public demonstrations.

Public protest alone does not generally lead to immediate change. Activists must often dedicate years of repeated demonstrations coupled with other tactics to achieve their ends.

How do you make your voice heard?

Examine two stories of public protest in American History

School Boycott

School Boycott
A day of public protest in Chicago in 1963, one step toward ending school segregation.

Read the School Boycott story

Votes For Women

Votes for Women
The fight for suffrage at the local and national levels during the 1910s

Read the Votes for Women story