Protests can range from a few people at a small rally, to a large demonstration with hundreds of participants.

Types of protests, demonstrations, unrest

  • Marching, where groups of people walk together through the streets. Their destination may be a rally or picket.

  • Rallies, where people gather at a location to hear speakers.

  • Pickets and sit-ins, where people surround, occupy or block off an area.

  • Riots, where protesters turn violent against people or property.

Staying safe if you're not participating

  • Avoid areas where protests, demonstrations and rallies are taking place. Even peaceful events can turn violent without warning.

  • Monitor traffic and public transport for potential disturbances and make alternative arrangements if necessary.

Staying safe if you are participating

  • Think about access issues: there is often a lot of walking at protests and marches, loud noises, packed crowds, all of which can be overwhelming. Bring ear protection and have a plan for how you will leave if you need to - always know at least 2-4 different ways to get out of the crowd and to safety.

  • Establish a plan in case you get separated from your group or your mobile phone battery dies, including an exit plan for how you will get home safely. Share your plan with someone who will not be attending the protest in case you need external support.

  • Remain mindful of any COVID-19 recommendations/restrictions such as social distancing, wearing a mask, not attending if you are sick and using hand sanitiser.

  • Remember that participants must observe lawful directions issued by Parliamentary Security, Australian Federal Police or Australian Protective Service officers. Failure to do so may result in arrest.

  • If you're participating in a protest and you feel the mood is changing, or feel threatened in any way, you can chat with us or call via the app. We can help you remain safe.

The right to protest peacefully is a defining feature of democracy, in Australia and around the world. Learn more about the right to freedom of assembly and association (Attorney-General’s Department).


If you have any questions we're here to help you 24/7 and if English isn't your first language, did you know that you can chat with us in any language?

Information compiled from Smartraveller.gov.au, Australian Government National Capital Authority and Greenpeace.

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