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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: 
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.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, December 15, 2008
In a victory for free speech rights, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the City of Seattle's ordinance for granting permits for parades and marches gives police too much discretion to revoke or alter permits.
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.

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