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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
ACLU-WA urges legislators:  Respect free speech rights on social media
After ACLU mation, Whatcom County prosecutor withdrew a search warrant for protest group's Facebook page

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Monday, January 11, 2010
As an organization dedicated to fostering free speech, the open exchange of ideas, and access to information, the American Civil Liberties Union urges you to consider closely the ways in which the merger of AT&T and Comcast could limit these liberties. There is a danger that if cable becomes the dominant provider of Internet connections, the Internet will come under the private control of companies that are unrestrained by competition or regulation.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, January 11, 2010
Can teachers wear a religious symbol or a political button in the classroom?  What about speech outside class? A brief overview of teachers' free speech rights.
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
Seeking to protect free speech rights on Seattle streets, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle challenging the City of Seattle’s Parade and Special Events Ordinances. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the October 22 Coalition, a protest group officially granted a parade permit by the City who was nonetheless barred by the Seattle Police Department from marching on the street. The ACLU says Seattle’s regulations are confusing, burdensome, and so vague that they wrongly give police unfettered discretion to alter or revoke parade permits.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU-WA challenge of a Seattle police rescission of a parade permit will go to trial on May 1.
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
A former high school student who was suspended for creating a parody on the Internet is getting damages from the school district that wrongfully punished him.

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