Freedom of assembly

"Sammankomsten" ("The Meeting"), oil painting by Ester Almqvist, original at the Swedish National Museum. The painting was chosen by the UN as a motif for a stamp commemorating the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, paragraph 20: the Right of Assembly
Janitorial workers striking in front of the MTV building in Santa Monica, California. Although striking in a trade union is a way of exercising freedom of assembly and freedom of association, other aspects of the conduct of the workers depicted here, such as pedestrian blocking of vehicle traffic in whichever direction has the right of way at this signal-controlled intersection, may violate local or state laws such as California Vehicle Code § 21950(b).[1]
Posted excerpt from the US Constitution, at an Occupy Oakland event, 2011

Freedom of peaceful assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right or ability of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their collective or shared ideas.[2] The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political right and a civil liberty.

The terms freedom of assembly and freedom of association may be used to distinguish between the freedom to assemble in public places and the freedom to join an association. Freedom of assembly is often used in the context of the right to protest, while freedom of association is used in the context of labor rights and in the Constitution of the United States is interpreted to mean both the freedom to assemble and the freedom to join an association.[3]

The United States Constitution explicitly provides for 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances' in the First Amendment.

Human rights instruments

Freedom of assembly is included in, among others, the following human rights instruments:

National and regional constitutions that recognize freedom of assembly include: