With a sharp increase in protest around the world over the past decade, international and domestic standards for state protection and management of assemblies must be pursued. The acceptance that the state should facilitate demonstrations, instead of using restraint, is far from universal. In many cases excessive force is still used: organisers are targeted before or after the event, and/or demonstrations are restricted by activities such as the closedown of social media. The mere fact that demonstrations on such an extensive scale take place also demonstrates the underlying tensions and in many cases the general lack of respect for human rights. However, demonstrations have become a central and important part of political participation and democratic expression today, including as a response to some of the major challenges of our time. They do pose risks and are at times misused, but the proper response is not to repress demonstrations in general, but rather to manage them properly to maximise freedom and contain risks. Read more here.
Source: Open Democracy