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First Amendment


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  • 1. First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom ofspeech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”Which part of this Amendment do you think is the most important?
  • 2. 5 rights, 1 Amendment QUICK Write Can you list the 5 rights allotted to American citizens in the first Amendment?  List in your packet  Only from memory
  • 3. Right to Protest “Congress shall make no law…abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Clarify the Right  Freedom to protest, demonstrate, parade has been drawn from freedom and speech and press, and the right peaceably to assemble; In DeJonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 364 (1937), the Supreme Court:  called the right of peaceable assembly “cognate to those of free speech and free press and is equally fundamental…” ;  determined that holding peaceable political meetings cannot be proscribed
  • 4. Right to Protest In order to be protected, the assembly must be peaceful and lawful. The right to petition dates back to Magna Carta (1215) The right to petition does not just mean a right of access to the court system The right to petition has been interpreted to cover the right of citizens, groups, special interest groups, to make their views known to all parts of government, including the executive branch and its
  • 5. Current Protests What did the “Occupy Wall street” protesters want? Were they peaceful? Read article
  • 6. Past Protests Who do you think of when you think of “protesters”? Can you think of any groups that have exercised these rights in American history?  Brainstorm a list and write in packet
  • 7. Groups who protest . . . Abolitionists Child labor movement (Mother Jones) Suffragists Civil Rights Movement Anti-war Movement Pro-Life / Pro-Choice Environmentalists
  • 8. Activity With your partner . . . Read article about different groups who exercised the right to protest Answer questions in packet
  • 9. Discussion Share summary of your protest with class Share question answers
  • 10. Independent Work Write a one-page letter to your Congressmen, voicing your opinion about a current political issue Write on a separate piece of paper