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Where can I engage in free speech activity?


Generally, most types of communicative expression are constitutionally protected (subject to reasonable restrictions) in traditional “public forums,” such as streets, sidewalks, and parks. Additionally, your speech or expression may be permitted at other public locations that the government has opened up to similar speech and expression, such as the plazas in front of government buildings. Under the new law, local governments can still issue permits to allow protests and demonstrations that block traffic. If a permit has not been issued, anyone standing in a street blocking traffic commits a civil violation and can be issued a ticket for $15. Critically, under the new law, if law enforcement deems the gathering a “riot,” anyone blocking traffic by “force or threat of force” can be charged with the new felony “aggravated riot,” which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.