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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!
Download our know your rights guide to protests
State Supreme Court overturns anti-panhandling law
After ACLU mation, Whatcom County prosecutor withdrew a search warrant for protest group's Facebook page

Resources

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.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, October 24, 2011
  Oral argument is being held on Oct. 25 in an ACLU lawsuit defending the rights of adults to access information on the Internet on public library computers. The suit challenges a central Washington library system’s filtering policy that hampers adults in researching school assignments, locating businesses and organizations, and doing personal reading on lawful subjects.   
Published: 
Monday, October 17, 2011
Public photography regrettably has become a suspect activity in the minds of some officials. Back in 2007, the ACLU-WA successfully advocated for a man whom Seattle police arrested for taking photos of police making an arrest near 2nd & Pike downtown.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
An ACLU lawsuit defending the rights of adults to access information on the Internet on public library computers will continue in federal court in the wake of today’s Washington Supreme Court 6-3 ruling rejecting claims under the Washington State Constitution. The suit challenges a filtering policy that hampers adults in researching school assignments, locating businesses and organizations, and doing personal reading on lawful subjects.
Published: 
Monday, October 10, 2011
Over the weekened, I had the opportunity to attend the first ever GeekGirlCon. Over two days, the con covered video games, movies, geeky parenting, blogging, vlogging, puppet making, gaming, music and of course, costumes.
Published: 
Friday, September 30, 2011
It’s the beginning of Fall and that always means … Back to School time! For students, parents, and educators, the ACLU-WA has many resources about rights at public school.
Published: 
Friday, September 30, 2011
As we mark Banned Books Week, it’s important to keep in mind that censorship efforts can come from all across the political spectrum. A case in point comes from the 1990s and was sparked by a complaint from someone concerned about preventing rape.

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