Forms of peaceful assemblies

Forms of peaceful assemblies

Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine provides people with the right to independently take decisions on the form of a peaceful assembly to be held. The Constitution names several possible forms of peaceful assemblies: gatherings, rallies, marches, and demonstrations. However, this list is not exhaustive.

Along with the development of the society, as well as communication means used by the society to satisfy its social needs, forms of peaceful assemblies tend to expand. Thus, along with traditional forms of peaceful assemblies such as gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches, nowadays there are also other forms like picketing, sit-in demonstrations, flash mobs, silent marches, “human chains”, bicycle parades and motocross, as well as specific musical or theatrical performances.

Forms of peaceful assemblies:

Gatherings stand for gatherings of citizens in a public place or elsewhere caused by the need to discuss various political, social, economic, cultural, and other issues.

Rallies stand for a public collective expression of citizens’ attitudes towards important issues of public and social life, functioning of the authorities and local self-government bodies, voicing of respective demands, and/or calls to citizens by means of gathering them in a peaceful way, without weapons, with the location and time being determined in advance.

Demonstrations stand for an organized mass public movement of citizens with political demands with the use of posters, banners, and other demonstration aids, with the route and time being determined in advance.

Marches stand for an organized movement of a group of persons following a determined route. A street march is conducted for the same purpose as demonstrations and rallies, but it differs in size and is characterized by the lack of rally and demonstration paraphernalia.

Picketing stands for a form of public expression of opinions by two or more citizens, which is done without movement, with possible use of sound-amplifying equipment, by means of placement in the vicinity of the picketed object (building, sidewalk, etc.), with the use of posters, banners, and other means of visual propaganda, as well as temporary constructions.

Flash mobs stand for a mass gathering planned in advance, whereby a large group of persons appear in a public place, performs predetermined actions (scenario), and then disperse.

Live chain – is a symbolic peaceful campaign aimed at uniting or commemorating certain historical events organized by large groups of people while holding hands.

Car, motor, and bicycle races stand for a special form of a march with the use of cars, motor vehicles, and bicycles, which may be used in certain instances in order to catchingly draw attention of the public and the state to specific issues or problems.

If views of various peaceful assembly participants differ from each other, there may emerge a parallel assembly aimed at expressing an opposite position; such assembly is called a COUNTERGATHERING. The countergathering is always connected with the main assembly and is a response to the latter.

 

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine ends when participants of the peaceful assembly start creating obstacles or using force, which may harm citizens’ rights and interests protected by the law.