Americans Overwhelmingly Agree the Right to Assemble Peacefully in Public Spaces Is Important

(September 7, 2017)

Americans’ rights to assemble peacefully in parks and town squares should be upheld

Ashburn, Va. (Sept. 7, 2017) — Americans are united in agreement that public parks are places where community members should be able to share diverse opinions in a respectful, constructive manner. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), 9 in 10 Americans find it important that their right to assemble peacefully in public spaces, such as parks and town squares, be upheld.    

While the right to assemble peacefully in a constructive, respectful and safe manner is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans (88 percent), millennials (91 percent), Gen Xers (91 percent) and parents (94 percent) are the biggest champions of this notion. The right to peacefully assemble is also supported by people of all races and backgrounds, showing that this is an issue on which Americans are strongly united.  

“Our right to peacefully assemble in public parks should never be taken away,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “However, this does not give people the right to use our parks to incite hate and violence. Hatred has no place in our nation’s parks.”   

Parks are a place where all people, regardless of income, race or ability, can gather and express themselves openly and freely. This includes many types of events where people gather and voice their support or opposition to issues they are passionate about. Unfortunately, some of these events have turned violent. That’s why NRPA stresses the importance of peaceful assembly when gathering in a park, celebrating it as fundamental to a vibrant democracy.

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit   

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit   


About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit