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Protect the Protest: Using Our Rights to Freedom of Assembly and Expression

Amnesty International via FutureLearn


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Examine the power of protest and its part in protecting human rights

Protesting is a powerful tool for promoting and defending human rights, used throughout history to change mindsets and agendas.

On this three-week course from Amnesty International, you’ll investigate the power of protest as a force for change and explore current challenges to the right to protest.

Explore our fundamental right to protest

Protest has a long history across the UK. Things we take for granted today, such as an eight-hour work day or a woman’s right to vote, were the result of protesters standing up for their beliefs and speaking out.

On this course, you’ll learn what is meant by our right to protest and examine protest within the UK and around the world.

With this overview, you’ll be able to define freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, and discuss the right to protest within historical and global contexts.

Identify challenges and restrictions to the right to protest

Many acts of protest, throughout history and today, have been met with repression, punishment, and prevention measures.

You’ll examine the steps taken to limit protests, including criminalisation and digital restrictions. You’ll also learn how proportionate policing is key to protecting and upholding our right to protest.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to explain how individual experiences and perspectives of protest can differ and the reasons why.

Investigate how political and social activism can help defend the right to protest

In the final week of this course, you’ll focus on how you can defend the right to protest, learning practical tips and ideas for organisation and participation.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a broad understanding of protest as a human right, and have gained the tools to feel empowered to take part in a protest yourself.

This course is designed for everyone who wants to understand their right to protest. It is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about key human rights within the UK and around the world.


  • What is the right to protest?
    • Welcome to the course 
    • Introduction to the right to protest
    • The power of protest
    • Celebration of success
  • What are the challenges to the Right to Protest?
    • Challenges to our right to protest
    • Restrictions on the right to protest
    • The responsibility of the police
    • Celebration of success
  • How can the right to protest be defended?
    • Feeling inspired to protest
    • Protesting
    • Celebration of success

Taught by

Amnesty Human Rights Education


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