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Free Speech

The right to express yourself regardless of the popularity your views is basic to a democratic society. Throughout its history, the ACLU has met challenges from officials who cite reasons old and new to restrict this right. We recognize that if one person can be silenced, all of us are at risk.
Know Your Rights: Street Speech.  Can I pass out flyers to crowds at a mall?  A farmers market? At a school or campus? Find out!
Taking a knee: A guide for administrators, teachers, parents, and students
PSA to student protesters: You have rights!
After ACLU mation, Whatcom County prosecutor withdrew a search warrant for protest group's Facebook page

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU-W believes in protection of rights of access to government information. Information is not owned by the government, but merely maintained by it; it should be available to all citizens. Access to information can empower citizens and lead to a more democratic, responsive, and generally better government. This policy does not address the question of what information is collected and maintained by governments; it is only concerned with access to existing information. Neither does it address what information should be exempt from disclosure.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Seeking to protect free speech rights on Seattle streets, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle challenging the City of Seattle’s Parade and Special Events Ordinances. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the October 22 Coalition, a protest group officially granted a parade permit by the City who was nonetheless barred by the Seattle Police Department from marching on the street. The ACLU says Seattle’s regulations are confusing, burdensome, and so vague that they wrongly give police unfettered discretion to alter or revoke parade permits.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU-WA challenge of a Seattle police rescission of a parade permit will go to trial on May 1.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU-WA believes that policies related to the National Information Infrastructure (NII) should foster free speech, encourage the free marketplace of ideas, enrich user choice, and nurture electronic public forums. To ensure maintenance of these values, there should be at least one broadly available network that carries information without regard to content, provider, or medium.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
A former high school student who was suspended for creating a parody on the Internet is getting damages from the school district that wrongfully punished him.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The city of Seattle and the ACLU have reached a partial settlement of a lawsuit over police disruption of a 2003 march by opponents of police brutality.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In a precedent-setting ruling on free speech in cyberspace, a federal court in Seattle today upheld the right to speak anonymously on the Internet.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The City of Pasco and artists Janette Hopper and Sharon Rupp have reached a final settlement in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the artists. Under terms of the settlement, the City has issued an apology to the artists for “censoring their artwork” and further acknowledging it violated their First Amendment rights. The final settlement came recently, after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2001 that the City of Pasco violated the rights of Hopper and Rupp when it excluded their works from a program to display art at the Pasco City Hall in 1996.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour has issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of a City of Medina law which required people to apply for a license from town officials and submit to a police background check in order to exercise their free speech rights.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Seeking to uphold union democracy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Public Citizen today filed a lawsuit backing the free speech rights of a union member running for office. The suit was filed on behalf of Joseph Hughes to secure his right to speak with fellow members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

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