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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

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News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Increasingly, corporations and some police officials around the country are seeking to silence their critics by filing actions known as SLAPP suits, or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. These suits aim to intimidate citizen activists with limited means by forcing them to spend time and money on baseless legal proceedings.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
TCI Cablevision (now owned by AT&T) and producer Michael Aivaz have reached a settlement to a lawsuit in federal court over the cancellation of Aivaz's program on Seattle's cable access television channel. Under terms of the settlement, TCI for the first time has established formal procedures for acting on complaints about the content of public access programming.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Noting that freedom of speech is "essential to our democratic ideals," U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik today overturned the ban on candidates mentioning their opponents in the City of Seattle's voter pamphlet. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU challenging the Seattle Ethics and Election Commission's censorship of candidate statements. Agreeing with the ACLU's arguments, Judge Lasnik found that the restriction on candidate statements violates the First Amendment because it bans the expression of certain viewpoints.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington today is filing its second lawsuit in United States District Court in Seattle challenging the City of Seattle's establishment of a No Protest Zone during the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on December 1-3, 1999.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Jessica Beckett, a senior at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo, has been selected to receive a Youth Activist Scholarship Award in recognition of her work for civil liberties. The $4,000 college scholarship is one of nine awarded by the American Civil Liberties Union to high school students around the nation.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Proponents of free speech literally chalked up a victory on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham. In 1999, WWU administrators proposed new guidelines for writing messages in chalk on Red Square plaza that would unreasonably limit who could write messages and what they could say.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
The American Civil Liberties Union today is seeking a Temporary Restraining Order against the City of Tacoma to enable a political action group to obtain a permit for a march. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Tacoma Leonard Peltier Support Group (TLPSG), a group that works to advance the rights of Native Americans.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
The ACLU's Kitsap County Chapter fought an effort to censor David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars, a murder mystery about prejudice toward Japanese Americans after World War II. After South Kitsap County School District teacher and parent review panels endorsed the book, a vocal group of parents condemned the acclaimed work as pornographic.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
The ACLU successfully challenged regulations purported to give the Washington Liquor Control Board authority to prohibit labels on beer bottles that the Board believes are "immodest, undignified, or in bad taste."
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Reasonable rules against harassment on the basis of sexual orientation do not violate the free speech rights of students and teachers. Here are some general guidelines for striking a balance between protecting free speech and protecting students against harassment.

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