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What laws do I have to follow in California to protest a business? I want to hand out food on the sidewalk outside a restaurant.

Los Angeles, CA |

I am considering organizing a protest outside of Chick-Fil-A by handing out free chicken. I know we can't block the sidewalk, stop people from entering, or cause a disturbance. Are there other laws we need to be aware of?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    As long as you are on public property, you are generally free to protest, providing you do not cause a disturbance or block the right of access of other people.

    Handing out food could be problematic, since that may require a health department inspection or city permit. To protect yourself, check with the city, or just don't hand out the food.


  2. You generally have free speech rights per the U.S. and California Constitution, and if this Chick-Fil-A is in a mall, public shopping malls have been seen as an extension of the public square, which expands those rights, even though the property is private.

    While you're protesting the company owner's Xtian anti-gay comments, you might also want to protest their trademark bullying. They actually contend that consumers would confuse a kale producer's "Eat More Kale" slogan with their "Eat More Chik'n" slogan.

    Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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