Know Your Rights: Defending Freedom and Resisting Fascism

Stay Safe, Know Your Rights BashTheFash

In our fight against fascism, knowing your legal rights is essential. Understanding and exercising these rights can protect you and help you stand up against oppressive systems. Here’s a rundown of your rights in the U.S. and some key tips for staying safe while taking action.

What is Fascism?

Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian ideology that relies on dictatorial power, suppresses opposition, and enforces strict control over society and the economy. Modern fascist movements often disguise themselves with patriotism and fearmongering, so recognizing and resisting them is crucial.

Your Rights in the U.S.

  • First Amendment Rights: The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble peacefully, and the right to petition the government. These are fundamental for any activist or protester.

  • Freedom of Speech: You have the right to express your views without government interference. This includes spoken words, written materials, and symbolic actions (like wearing armbands or holding signs).

  • Freedom of Assembly: You can gather in public spaces for protests, rallies, and meetings. This right is vital for organizing collective action against fascism.

  • Freedom of the Press: Journalists can report on events, including protests, without government censorship. This keeps the public informed about issues of social justice and oppression.

  • Right to Petition: You can demand action from the government to address grievances, including those related to fascist policies or leaders. Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to answer any questions about where you are going, where you have been, what you are doing, or where you live. If you wish to exercise this right, say it out loud: “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”

  • Right to Refuse Consent to Search: You have the right to refuse consent to a search of yourself, your car, or your home. If you don’t want the officer to search, clearly say, “I do not consent to a search.” However, note that the police may still pat down your clothing if they suspect you have a weapon.

  • Right to Leave if Not Detained: Ask the officer if you are free to leave. If you are not being detained or arrested, you have the right to calmly walk away. Simply ask, “Am I free to go?” If the officer says yes, leave calmly. If the officer says no, you are being detained.

  • Stay Silent: Practice what we learned in Shut The Fuck Up Friday. Shut the fuck up when talking to police. If you choose to remain silent, clearly state this to the officer. You are not required to provide information other than your name, and in some states, you may be required to provide identification if asked.

  • Don’t Run or Resist: Do not run, resist, or obstruct the officer, even if you believe your rights are being violated. This can lead to additional charges.

  • Keep Your Hands Visible: Keep your hands where the pig officer can see them. This helps prevent misunderstandings, and by misunderstandings, we mean unjust police brutality often used to target minority groups, such as people of color (POC).

Safety Tips for Protesting

Document Everything: If it’s safe, use your phone to record interactions with the police. This could be crucial evidence if there are allegations of misconduct.

Prepare for Arrest: Have a plan in place in case you’re arrested. Write down important phone numbers on your body (in case your phone is taken), and carry minimal belongings. Know the number of a lawyer or a legal aid organization that supports protesters.

Legal Observers: Groups like the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) send legal observers to protests to monitor police activity and support protesters’ rights. They can also provide legal representation if needed.

ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offers resources and legal support for individuals whose rights have been violated during protests.

Community Legal Aid: Local legal aid organizations can provide support and advice for activists, especially those facing legal trouble for their actions.

Knowing Your Rights Online

  • Digital Privacy: Be aware that online activities can be monitored. Use encrypted messaging apps like Signal for communication, and consider using a VPN to protect your online privacy.

  • Social Media: Social media is great for organizing and spreading information, but it can also be used for surveillance. Be careful about what you post and think about the potential risks.

  • Data Protection: Protect your devices with strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication. Be mindful of the information you share online, and limit personal details that could be used against you.

Understanding and exercising your legal rights is a key part of fighting fascists. By staying informed and prepared, you can better protect yourself and your community.

When Fascism came into power, most people were unprepared, both theoretically and practically. They were unable to believe that man could exhibit such propensities for evil, such lust for power, such disregard for the rights of the weak, or such yearning for submission. Only a few had been aware of the rumbling of the volcano preceding the outbreak. -Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom*

Fuck Private Property 2024. Fight Fascism.