CCLA's Learning Unit on the Right to Gather and Protest

This guide is meant for teachers to become familiar with the Right to Protest Learning Unit, which is designed to introduce students to protections for the right to protest found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and discusses why this right is necessary in democracies. Examples of laws that limit the right to protest are also provided, along with a case study illustrating the conflict between protest rights and a municipal bylaw created in response to the 2012 student protests in Quebec.

The Learning Unit ends with an opportunity for students to discuss what, in their opinion, is the appropriate balance between the right to protest and public order.

What Does The Teacher’s Guide Include?

This guide to the Learning Unit includes:

  • Curricular links
  • Learning outcomes
  • Unit components, including links to videos and slide decks
  • Online teaching strategies
  • In-person teaching strategies
  • Complementary resources from CCLA
  • Victim and witness information
A Teacher’s Guide to the Learning Unit: The Right to Protest
What Will Students Learn In This Unit?

Students will learn about the Charter provisions that protect the right to protest, namely the freedoms of expression, association and assembly. They will be introduced to examples of legal limits on the right to protest. Students will have an opportunity to examine a case study on Quebec student protests as well as discuss and explore their own views on the right to protest.

Our Latest Work and Updates


AllAccess to InformationArbitrary DetentionArtificial IntelligenceBill 21Bill 28Border TechnologyCases and LawsCCPA (Bill C-11)Community SupervisionConditions of ConfinementConstitutional RemediesCOVID-19COVID-19 & Law EnforcementCOVID-19 & PrisonsCRIMINAL JUSTICECriminal Prohibitions on SpeechCriminal Records & Collateral ConsequencesCriminal Records & Police Record ChecksCriminal Records & Police Record ChecksCruel & Unusual PunishmentDeaths in CustodyDecriminalizationDeescalation & Use of ForceDefamationDemocratic RightsDetasking PoliceDevice SearchesDisabilityDNA ForensicsEDUCATIONElection FinanceEmergencies ActEmergencies Act NewsEQUALITYFace SurveillanceFair Trial RightsFair Trial, Due Process & SentencingFighting Compelled Political SpeechFighting Solitary ConfinementFreedom of AssociationFreedom of ExpressionFreedom of ReligionFreedom of the PressFUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMSGET INFORMEDGuidesIN THE NEWSINCLOIndigenous PeopleInformation SharingIntelligence & CybersecurityInternet Privacy and SpeechLearnLGBTQ2S+MAJOR CASES & REPORTSMass SurveillanceMobilityNational SecurityNB Abortion RightsNot Criminally ResponsibleOntario Private Sector LegislationOpen CourtsPIPEDAPODCASTPolice Coercion & EntrapmentPolice Powers, Use of Force & Police AccountabilityPolice Transparency, Oversight & AccountabilityPolitical AdvertisingPRESS RELEASESPrisons, Jails & Community SupervisionPRIVACYPrivacy ActPrivacy During COVIDPrivacy Law ReformProsecutorial MisconductProtecting JournalistsRace, Religion & EthnicityRacial ProfilingReasonable Expectations of PrivacyRefugees & ImmigrationRegulation of Online ExpressionRight to CounselRight to ProtestRight to Reasonable BailRight to SilenceSafe SheltersSearch & SeizureSearch & SeizureSentencingSex Offender RegistriesSmart CitiesSocial MediaSocio-Economic StatusSolitary ConfinementStrip SearchesSurveillance & PrivacySurveillance & TechnologySurveillance CapitalismTalk RightsToronto's Smart CityTravel ScreeningUncategorizedUnreasonable Search & SeizureVaccine PassportsVOLUNTEERVoting RightsWomenYouth

Join Us As We Stand Against Bill 21 and for Human Rights

February 24, 2022
This is a critical moment.

CCLA Fighting to Protect Freedom of Association for All Workers at the Supreme Court of Canada

April 12, 2023
The CCLA is intervening before the Supreme Court of Canada in a case that will…

CCLA Fighting for Transparency and Openness before the Supreme Court

April 12, 2023
The CCLA is intervening at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ontario v. Information and…

CCLA Reacts to R v McColman Decision

March 27, 2023
OTTAWA — Shakir Rahim, Director of Criminal Justice for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA),…

CCLA speaks out on guiding principles for Canada’s upcoming online safety proposal

March 21, 2023
CCLA has joined with 12 other civil society organizations to release a joint statement addressed…

Court agrees with CCLA that police background checks require oversight

March 9, 2023
On February 27, 2023, the Divisional Court in Ontario released its decision in Khorsand v.…

CCLA Reacts to Working Families Decision

March 6, 2023
OTTAWA — Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), reacted to…

Read our op-ed inspired by Freedom to Read Week by Cara Zwibel, Director, Fundamental Freedoms Program

February 24, 2023
Last Spring Sotheby’s auction house sold off a copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale…

Police-involved deaths on the rise across Canada

February 23, 2023
CCLA welcomes the launch of a publicly accessible online database tracking police-involved deaths across Canada.…

Press Release: Police-involved deaths on the rise across Canada

February 23, 2023
Publicly accessible living online database tracking police-involved deaths launched Database website: Ottawa, Ontario –…

Supreme Court Dodges Key Issue in R. v. McGregor

February 21, 2023
A majority of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. McGregor opted not to…

CCLA Reaction to Public Order Emergency Commission

February 17, 2023
February 17, 2023 Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association…

Guest Blog: Artificial Intelligence Developers Must Ensure Commitment to Meaningful Consent

February 14, 2023
Jonathan A. Obar, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Media…

CCLA Notches Legal Victory Against Government in Emergencies Act Case

February 14, 2023
February 14, 2023 Toronto, ON — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is announcing a…

CCLA releases Ebook: Civil Liberties & the Emergencies Act

February 14, 2023
Read the final submissions of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to the Public Order Emergency…

Responding to Recent Calls for Bail Reform

February 2, 2023
How does Canada's bail system operate? Are we doing a good job protecting public safety?…

CCLA Demands Release of Death in Custody Videotapes

January 31, 2023
MONTREAL — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is demanding the release of all video footage…

Supreme Court Maintains Importance of Proportionality in Criminal Sentencing

January 27, 2023
The CCLA welcomes the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions in R v. Hills and R.…

CCLA Intervening in Tik Tok Injunction Appeal to Protect Space for Digital Activism

January 11, 2023
TikTok teens and duet fiends, take note. The CCLA is intervening in an Ontario court…

New Report Released: Ontario Deaths in Custody on the Rise 

December 20, 2022
Despite a declining provincial custody population, deaths in custody in Ontario are increasing at an…

International Report: Under Surveillance: (Mis)use of Technologies in Emergency Responses

December 15, 2022
CCLA’s international partners publish a report on global (mis)use of technologies during the pandemic The…