The right to protest is enshrined in the 1st Amendment of the US Bill of Rights. This Amendment speaks of “freedom of speech and the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” We know the celebrated decision of the Supreme Court as expressed by Justice Oliver W. Holmes, Jr. (Schenck vs. United States, 1919) that freedom of speech does not allow one to scream, ”fire, fire” in a crowded theater as that would undermine public safety. Public safety is clearly a limitation on the freedom of speech protected by the 1st Amendment.It should be obvious that during this COVID-19 pandemic any assembly of huge crowds during a peaceful demonstration endangers the health or, perhaps, even the lives of the participants. Therefore, in the interest of public safety, one should suspend the right to assemble peacefully until a valid and reliable therapeutic or vaccine is available. Clearly, saving endangered lives has priority over the democratic right to protest. In addition, the right to protest allows the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. A democracy allows the people to challenge policies or an approach to issues. Thus, people could assemble to challenge a policy of pro-life or pro-choice, conscription of women or yeshiva students, or mandating a requirement that everyone receive the COVID-19 vaccine, when available.However, protests and demonstrations for a duly elected leader to step down undermine the very foundation of a democracy. If a leader gains the votes of the citizens of his country to assume the mantle of leadership and has not been convicted of a crime, protests for his resignation undermine the will of the electorate. The essence of democracy is that the citizens vote and elect their leader. Those who do not appreciate the elected leader should, nevertheless, respect the will of the people and not call for his resignation. That is the foundational principle of democracy.In summary, two conditions must be met before protests and demonstrations are allowed: they must not undermine public safety and may not call for the resignation of a duly elected leader.While the above argument invokes the US Constitution and the Supreme Court of the US, the arguments apply totally to Israel as well. Israel, the Jewish State, certainly subscribes to the overarching value of pikua’h nefesh (the primacy of human life), and to the bedrock value of a democracy, i.e., to respect the will of the people as expressed in the results of an election.The writer is the founding principal (ret.) of The Frisch School, Paramus, New Jersey.