July was hot. Really, really hot. Climatologists are even speculating it will be the hottest month on record. But even this extreme heat could not stop Americans from expressing their First Amendment rights to gather and protest. This past month, Americans voiced concerns about a variety of topics: from New York City's soda ban and Pennsylvania's voter ID law, to animal rights and Mitt Romney's tax returns.
Collected below are images from a month of discontent.
After an all-night protest against Portland camping and homelessness policies on July 2nd, demonstrator Eve Sanford awakens on the sidewalk. Cameron Whitten, a 21-year-old former mayoral candidate and Occupy demonstrator, organized the protest and a personal hunger strike in the hope that the city would lift fines on homeless encampments.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
On July 2, members of Occupy Chicago protest outside the Cook County Criminal Courts Building in Chicago, where three NATO summit protesters were being arraigned. The three pleaded not guilty to charges of plotting to attack President Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago with Molotov cocktails. The protesters have been jailed since May.
(AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)
Dominic Inferrera holds a homemade sign during a protest in opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's soda ban at City Hall in New York City, on Monday, July 9.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Members of MoveOn.org demonstrate against a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the home of industrial billionaire David Koch on Sunday, July 8, in Southampton, N.Y.
(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
A pedestrian walks past People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members Alejandra Mendoza, left, and Ariela Rubin, as they stage a protest from cages outside Jacques Ferber Furs on Wednesday, July 11, in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Sharon Simon, left, and Ellen Bander, protest outside a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday, July 16, in Baton Rouge, La.
National Journal recently compiled a list of Republicans who are urging Romney to release multiple years of tax returns.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Rosa Maria Soto carries a statue of the Virgin Mary as she protests Maricopa Co., Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio on July 19 in Phoenix. It was the first day of a trial in a case where Arpaio's office is accused of racially profiling Latinos during his immigration patrols.
(AP Photo/Matt York)
Protesters march with signs during the Global AIDS Funding Protest March, on Monday, July 23, in Washington. PEPFAR is the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
As National Journal's Margot Sanger-Katz reported this week, funding for the program may be cut. Sanger-Katz reported that the AIDS "issue has faded somewhat from the consciousness of lawmakers as treatment and prevention efforts have improved. The domestic epidemic, which appeared to be rocketing out of control in the 1980s and 1990s, has abated as high infection rates have retreated into concentrated risk groups."
(Larry French/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)
The Rev. Benjamin T. Hailey, the president of the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention, speaks during an NAACP-organized rally on the Capitol steps protesting the state's tough voter-identification law on July 24 in Harrisburg, Pa. The law is being challenged in court as unconstitutional. Democrats say it's an election-year stunt by Republicans to steal the White House. Republicans say it's necessary to prevent voting fraud.
(AP Photo/Marc Levy)
A replica of the iconic Wall Street bull is lifted during a rally to support low-wage workers as part of Occupy Wall Street's National Day of Action in New York City on July 24.
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
DeEtte Waleed, center, and other demonstrators greet Obama outside the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday, July 24. Advocates demanding tougher gun-control laws were among several dozen people who protested the president's visit.
(AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation stages an "Occupy Gilead" protest over Gilead Science Inc.'s AIDS drug prices on July 25 in Washington D.C. In 2011, Gilead generated $6.5 billion in revenues for AIDS drugs, but has refused to lower prices for cash-strapped AIDS drug assistance programs.
(Larry French /AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)
On July 25, Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader for the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, joined others in a protest in Sacramento, Calif., against a plan to build a giant twin tunnel system to move water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farmland and cities. Opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan say the project could destroy the already fragile delta ecosystem.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Lynn Tipton, front, president of a local union and a worker at the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, addresses a crowd during an event held to protest layoffs at the department on July 25, in Cranston, R.I. The Department of Labor and Training is laying off 67 workers, most of whom worked at the agency's unemployment benefits division.
(AP Photo/David Klepper)
Firefighters assemble with Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, and march to Philadelphia City Hall on July 26. Earlier this month, an arbitration panel awarded the firefighters three years of 3 percent raises. That came after about 20 months of legal battles.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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