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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: 
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The Seattle’s park permitting law gives officials too much arbitrary discretion in granting or denying applications. It needs to be changed to meet constitutional standards.   
Published: 
Friday, August 31, 2012
Labor issues were much on the minds of the small group of people who began meeting in Seattle in 1920 to discuss civil liberties violations in Washington state. After all, this was the year after the famous (or infamous, depending on one’s politics) five-day Seattle General Strike, the first general strike by labor unions in an American city.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The ACLU-WA is appealing its lawsuit seeking to have Sound Transit run a paid ad by Working Washington touting the importance of good jobs at SeaTac. “ When a public agency operates an advertising program open to a wide variety of messages, individual government officials should not be left to decide subjectively what is ‘controversial.’
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The ACLU of Washington has decided not to appeal the April 10, 2012 ruling by the U.S. District Court in Spokane against library patrons’ challenge of the Internet filtering policy of a regional library system. While the ACLU supports the American Library Association’s position that public libraries should not filter Internet content for patrons, the current facts in the case do not support an effective appeal.

The Pledge of Allegiance in Washington Public Schools

Document, Published: 
Friday, June 1, 2012
Many public schools in the United States ask students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Some students object to the practice for reasons of conscience. Both the Washington Legislature and the courts have developed a common-sense solution to the conflict: a school may lead students in reciting the Pledge, but it must also respect the wishes of students who choose not to join.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The ACLU of Washington has decided not to appeal the April 10, 2012 ruling by the U.S. District Court in Spokane against library patrons’ challenge of the Internet filtering policy of a regional library system. While the ACLU supports the American Library Association’s position that public libraries should not filter Internet content for patrons, the current facts in the case do not support an effective appeal.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, May 4, 2012
The ACLU-WA has joined the legal team representing Working Washington in its lawsuit challenging Sound Transit’s refusal to run an ad promoting good jobs for low-income workers at Sea-Tac Airport.
Published: 
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The proposals didn’t live up to constitutional standards in several ways. The ACLU-WA testified about their constitutional infirmities amid a parade of faculty members and students who roasted them at a public hearing.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Text messaging, chats, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, and a host of other new avenues raise both new and old questions about legal rights. Now the ACLU-WA has published the first-ever guidebook laying out the rights of Washington public school students in using electronic communications devices.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, November 3, 2011
The ACLU-WA is appealing to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its lawsuit for the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign challenging King County’s cancellation of the group’s paid bus ad. The suit reminds us that it is when we are faced with controversial speech, speech that is upsetting to some people, that support of the First Amendment is most important.

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