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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!

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
All student-initiated clubs have the right to speak on campus and circulate leaflets or underground newspapers at school. However, the ACLU believes that no student-initiated club has a legal right to force the school to give official endorsement and money to the group if the school does not wish to sponsor it.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The federal Equal Access Act requires schools to give all noncurriculum-related student clubs – such as Gay-Straight Alliances - equal access to school facilities, regardless of the content of the speech in their meetings.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In a victory for prisoner rights, a federal appeals court has found that corrections officials cannot prevent inmates from receiving bulk mail sent at nonprofit postal rates.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
People have been free to express their opinions using pseudonyms since the early days of our nation.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Justice (CFJ) have reached an agreement with the Spokane Transit Authority to protect freedom of speech at the Plaza in downtown Spokane. The agreement settles a lawsuit challenging restrictions on free speech at Plaza sidewalks that the groups filed on behalf of Donald Ausderau, a Christian minister, and the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane in June 2003.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The lawsuit challenges the North Central Regional Library District's use of a strict Internet filter on public computers, and its refusal to temporarily disable the filter for adult users.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
A settlement between student Nick Emmett and Kent School District has ended the district’s attempt to punish the student because of a Web site created on his home computer. Under terms of the settlement negotiated by the ACLU, the suburban Seattle district will not pursue disciplinary action against Emmett over the Web site and will pay his attorney fees.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Pierce County Council voted unanimously on Aug. 9 to repeal a rule that barred speakers at public meetings from attacking or questioning the motives of council members. The action followed a letter by the ACLU objecting to the policy.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the latest ACLU case backing student rights in cyberspace, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee today ruled that public school officials cannot punish a student for free speech outside of school.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
As the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of the USA PATRIOT Act, the American Civil Liberties Union today announced a new nationwide effort to recover the freedoms that Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Bush Administration have rolled back since last year's terrorist attacks. "Keep America Safe and Free: The Campaign to Defend the Constitution" is a national effort involving litigation, grassroots organizing, and community education in all 50 states.

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