The right to protest is at the core of democracy. In recent years, the criminalisation of social protest has been spreading worldwide, according to a new study commissioned by the Left in the European Parliament and produced by the organisations Paz con Dignidad and El Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina (OMAL). 

In the context of corporate power’s offensive, the protection of human rights risks becoming subordinated to corporate interests. The organisations opposing this are increasingly being persecuted.  

The state is the main actor in criminalising the right to protest. It can do this through legislation, as it has the capacity to adapt the laws. The state also has executive power and can legally use violence and the judiciary, so it can give different interpretations to the laws.

In addition to the state, business actors operating on behalf of corporations – think tanks, lobby firms and para-state actors – militias, private security, and paramilitary groups – contribute to the criminalisation of protest.

The study analysis the methods used to criminalise the right to protest in Europe and Latin America and provides concrete examples. 

Read the study in full here (in Spanish)