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Racial Justice: Race and Diversity in America

Organizing a Protest Event

In order to protest on public property within the city limits of Spokane, a special event permit must be acquired at least 30 days prior to the proposed event. This permit requires a $50 administration fee, and for some, an added fee to the fire marshal. In addition, the city requires an insurance policy protecting the city from any damage. Spokane also reserves the right to charge up to $500 for the labor and use of Spokane municipal employees if the event requires the stoppage of traffic or setup/takedown assistance.

The ability for cities to require fees related to protesting would seem to limit or violate the protections created under the First Amendment. In Cox v. State of New Hampshire, the courts determined that cities are able to require fees related to protests or rallies so long as the required fee is nominal, typically less than $300. Forsyth County, GA v. Nationalist Movement states this fee is intended to be uniform, meaning that it cannot be adjusted because of the content, type, or reason for protest. Fees are waivable by the city without issue, but this is rarely done, only for special circumstances.

Safety During Protests

What to Do, What not to Do, What to Bring, What to Wear, Dealing with Teargas, Know your Rights

Protecting your electronic devices and digital assets before, during, and after a protest is vital to keeping yourself and your information safe, as well as getting your message out. Theft, damage, confiscation, or forced deletion of media can disrupt your ability to publish your experiences. At the same time, those engaging in protest may be subject to search or arrest, or have their movements and associations mapped. They could become targets of surveillance and repression.

There are risks associated with attending a protest, and taking steps to mitigate them can go a long way in ensuring you—and the data you value—are kept safe. This guide outlines steps you can take before, during, and after a protest that will help maximize your effectiveness and keep yourself and your data more secure.

UW Medicine has developed the following guidelines modeled on those created by Public Health – Seattle & King County  to help people limit exposures and protect themselves and our community from COVID-19 while taking part in local protests. These guidelines are not intended to discourage anyone from participating in the protests but are instead to guide participation in a safe manner to the extent possible.

Bail Assistance and Reform

We work with public defenders and community-based organizations to identify people in need of bail assistance. We also research jail websites to find people trapped by unaffordable cash bail. After interviewing each client and determining eligibility, we pay their bail and develop a support strategy to ensure they can come back to court and engage with their legal process in a meaningful way.

Provides cash bail for marginalized people charged with crimes who are unable to afford bail and find themselves incarcerated while awaiting routine court appearances in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties in Washington State. This allows people to get out of jail during their trial period and defend themselves from a position of freedom.  



Chastek Library, Gonzaga University School of Law | 721 N. Cincinnati St. Spokane, WA 99220-3528 | 509.313.3758