How to stay safe during protests in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Several marches and protests are planned following the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

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These marches and rallies are expected to be peaceful. If that changes and there's a police order to disperse, not complying could result in an arrest. Law enforcement and the American Civil Liberties Union shared some tips to make sure you don't break the law while expressing your first amendment rights.

The Bay Area saw widespread gatherings and protests after the presidential election. Large crowds are expected to form Friday and Saturday following the inauguration.

"Really, our main goal out here is to facilitate the freedom of speech everybody has," said Giselle Talkoff, a San Francisco police department spokesperson.

The SFPD says as long as people maintain civility, they should not expect any law enforcement action.

The ACLU says it will have representatives monitoring each gathering. "We really want to ensure that the rights of the public to express their viewpoints is protected," said Presidential Inauguration ACLU Linda Lye.

They will be giving out pocket-sized guides about your rights when it comes to law enforcement.

Both agencies say violence or property destruction like we saw in Oakland after the election is not a protected form of free speech.

In the event you are cited, the ACLU recommends having a government issued ID on you to make the process go more smoothly.

"There can be immigration consequences for an arrest, so think carefully about that," Lye told ABC7 News.

Snapping photos or taking video of interactions with law enforcement is within your rights.

"If you start to enter the space and interfere with our process, and what's going on, that's when it can start to escalate," said Talkoff.

SFPD says you could be arrested for obstruction of justice.

RELATED: Inauguration week event schedule

While law enforcement needs a warrant or your consent to search your phone, the ACLU suggests having a numerical passcode for an additional layer of protection.

See maps of protest marches for the weekend here:

San Francisco

San Jose


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