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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!
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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: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
A Q&A about walkouts, policy regarding absences, and other student political speech at public schools.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Today the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that even in times of unrest, the government cannot arrest protesters simply because of their message. The ruling came in the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington's lawsuit challenging the City of Seattle's establishment and enforcement of a No Protest Zone during the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1999.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
The ACLU-WA is assisting Ian Spiers, a biracial community college student who was questioned and detained by local police and a Homeland Security agent for taking photographs at the Ballard Locks.
News Release, Published: 
Sunday, December 31, 2000
For several years the ACLU has worked with parents to keep creationist teachings out of the science classroom in Burlington-Edison High School. Responding to advocacy by the ACLU and concerned parents, the school board in 1998 backed a decision by the superintendent that the science teacher could no longer teach creationism in the guise of "intelligent design theory" in biology lessons.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, June 30, 1998
A federal court in Seattle has held that people have the same right to protest in cyberspace as they do on sidewalks. U.S. District Court Judge William Dwyer ruled that people cannot be barred from putting offensive material on the Internet unless a court has found it defamatory after trial.

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