ACLU of Illinois

Know Your Rights: Freedom of expression in Chicago
March 15, 2012

Can I protest on the public sidewalk?

Yes. Groups or individuals can protest on a public sidewalk without a permit if they do not block the flow of pedestrian traffic, access to a building, or cars in the area. If the group protesting is large enough to disrupt pedestrian traffic, the City of Chicago requires a five (5) day notice for the demonstration, unless the protest is in response to some breaking news. It is against the law to protest in front a particular home; however, the First Amendment does protect marches through residential areas that don’t target a particular home. Groups of less than fifty persons also can protest in a Chicago park without a permit.

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