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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.

Topic Resources

News Release, Published: 
Monday, January 11, 2010
Background on the effect of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) on public computer access at libraries.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 8, 2010
In response to an ACLU of Washington lawsuit, the Puyallup City Council amended its solicitation ordinance to protect the rights of a religious organization to spread its message. The ACLU had filed suit on behalf of United States Mission challenging city restrictions that prevented the organization from carrying out its mission of preaching the "Social Gospel."
News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 8, 2010
Anti-war activists are pursuing a lawsuit challenging police actions that violated their rights at demonstrations at the Port of Tacoma: unlawful arrests, unconstitutional restrictions, unreasonable force, and unauthorized surveillance, all designed to discourage and prevent peaceful protest.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A recent federal court decision affects how Washington schools must operate their Associated Student Body organizations.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU-W believes in protection of rights of access to government information. Information is not owned by the government, but merely maintained by it; it should be available to all citizens. Access to information can empower citizens and lead to a more democratic, responsive, and generally better government. This policy does not address the question of what information is collected and maintained by governments; it is only concerned with access to existing information. Neither does it address what information should be exempt from disclosure.
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 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
The ACLU-WA believes that policies related to the National Information Infrastructure (NII) should foster free speech, encourage the free marketplace of ideas, enrich user choice, and nurture electronic public forums. To ensure maintenance of these values, there should be at least one broadly available network that carries information without regard to content, provider, or medium.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour has issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of a City of Medina law which required people to apply for a license from town officials and submit to a police background check in order to exercise their free speech rights.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
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.

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