1. Securing a Good Rally Site

A good Rally site can make all the difference in the success of your Rally.

In this section you’ll find all the help you need to select and secure an optimal location for your OverturnRoe event and what to do if you run into trouble securing it.

What makes a good rally site?

Because we’re sending a message about a federal court case, a federal courthouse or other federal building is an ideal location for your rally. But if there are no federal buildings near you, feel free to choose another location.

Other good locations could include a local government building like a courthouse or city hall, a public park or square, or even your local abortion facility. Whatever location you choose, be sure it’s got a lot of visibility to the public. The point of these rallies is to be seen!

If possible, choose a site that is well known, so it will be easy for people to find it. Make sure that parking is available nearby, too.

Once you’ve chosen your site, contact the OverturnRoe team so it can be listed on the website. Please include both the name of the site, and the full address.

Do I need permission for my rally?

Before informing the local police of your rally plans or seeking permits, you must first understand that our right “to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is robustly protected by the First Amendment and over two centuries of court rulings.

For that reason, depending on the size and location of your rally, you may not need to acquire permits. But it’s best to find out early on.

If you are holding the rally at a U.S. government site, do not contact the city government or local police since they do not have jurisdiction there. They may erroneously tell you that you cannot hold your rally at that site.

Instead, call the general information number at your site and ask who you need to talk to about getting a permit for a rally. You should call for this information, not email. Typically for a federal building, you will be told to speak to a representative of the US General Services Association.

If you plan to hold your rally at a site that isn’t under federal jurisdiction, call the local police non-emergency number and explain your plans to hold a rally and provide them the date and location. Ask whether you need a permit, and how to go about acquiring one.

Whether applying for a permit from federal or municipal authorities, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Secure enough time to set up and break down your rally. For example, if your rally is being planned from Noon to 1 p.m., you should apply for a permit covering 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Be realistic with your estimated attendance. You permit applications will ask you to estimate how many will attend the event. If you can realistically expect 50 people, don’t apply for 500 and risk triggering greater restrictions on your event. But do give large enough a number that you will not have a problem if more people turn out than you really expect.
  • Get permission to use a sound system. You may not have thought about getting a sound system for your rally, and you may not find you need one, but just in case, include that in your permit application.

Even if you find you don’t need a permit for your rally, you may still wish to write a letter to the Chief of Police respectfully informing him or her, as a courtesy, of your plans, especially if you expect a large number of attendees. Include the date, times (including setup and break-down), expected number of participants, and a general description of the rally.

Of course, if you’re holding your Rally on private property—like the grounds of a church—you do not need to contact the police at all about your plans.

Problems? Contact Rally Headquarters

Contact the OverturnRoe team if you encounter any problems selecting or securing your rally site.

For example, you may be told you should have submitted your application earlier. You may even be denied the right to hold your rally outright. Don’t be deterred.

Contact Rally Headquarters with such issues. Our attorneys at the Thomas More Society have tremendous expertise quickly solving such problems.

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