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Freedom of Assembly
Right to form social or political groups and hold meetings
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).
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.
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:
^Jeremy McBride, Freedom of Association, in The Essentials of... Human Rights, Hodder Arnold, London, 2005, pp. 18-20
^See: NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 898 (1982); Healey v. James, 408 U.S. 169 (1972); Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Virginia, 377 U.S. 1 (1964); United Mine Workers v. Illinois State Bar Assn., 389 U.S. 217 (1967).