1. For the purposes of these Principles,
a) A protest is the individual or collective expression of oppositional, dissenting, reactive or responsive views, values or interests. As such, a protest may encompass, inter alia:
i) Individual or collective actions, as well as spontaneous or simultaneous protests in the manner, form and for the duration of one’s choosing, including through the use of digital technologies;
ii) An individual or collective expression relating to any cause or issue;
iii) Actions targeting any audience, including public authorities, private entities or individuals or the general public;
iv) Actions in any location, including public or privately owned places, as well as online;
v) Actions involving various degrees and methods of organisation, including where there is no clear organisational structure, hierarchy or pre-determined form or duration;
b) The right to protest is the individual and/or collective exercise of existing and universally recognised human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to participation in cultural life, the rights to life, privacy, liberty and security of a person and the right to non-discrimination. The right to protest is also essential to securing all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights;
c) The term ‘online protest’ refers to a protest as defined above, but one that takes place using the internet as a tool and/or platform for the action;
d) The term ‘non-violent direct action’ refers to public tactics and strategies for change using methods of disruption targeted at institutions, actors or processes, through direct and peaceful means, including conscientious and deliberate violation of the law.
2) The term ‘public order’ refers to the sum of rules which ensure the functioning of society or the set of fundamental principles on which society is founded, including the respect for human rights.
3) The term ‘peaceful’ should be interpreted broadly and exclude only those instances in which there is evidence of intent by protesters to use violence; taking into account that isolated or sporadic violence or other unlawful acts committed by others do not deprive individuals of protection as long as they remain peaceful in their own intentions or behaviour.
To comment in detail on language and terminology click here