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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!
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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: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
As Seattle neared "N30," the one-year anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests on November 30th, free speech advocates held our collective breath in hopes that the City would "get it right" this time by dealing properly with protest activities. Responding to saber-rattling comments by some officials, the ACLU urged the City to respect free speech rights, and we readied our Web site report form to receive complaints of police misconduct.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU of Washington announced today the settlement of a lawsuit against the City of Tacoma over excessive fees required of groups organizing political marches. Under terms of the settlement, the City of Tacoma amended its ordinance regulating parades and other special events so that organizations are not required to pay unduly burdensome fees in order to exercise their free speech rights. The City Council adopted the revised ordinance on October 21.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Last summer, Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television took off the air the “Saturn Series,” a conceptual art show that combined assorted footage with political captions criticizing the Bush administration. With the help of the ACLU, producer Gary Nicholson regained his broadcasting privileges
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In October 2003 the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Seattle can bar political candidates from mentioning their opponents in the City's voter pamphlet. The decision reversed a trial court ruling that found the ban was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Washington Court of Appeals overturned a law that regulates the content of political candidates’ statements, saying that it violates their right to free speech and does not ensure the honesty of elections.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Students in Bellingham can continue distributing at school the alternative newspaper they produce thanks to help from the ACLU.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the City of Pasco, WA violated the rights of two artists when it censored their works. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington on behalf of artists Janette Hopper and Sharon Rupp challenging the exclusion of their works from a program to display art at the Pasco City Hall in 1996.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Increasingly, corporations and some police officials around the country are seeking to silence their critics by filing actions known as SLAPP suits, or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. These suits aim to intimidate citizen activists with limited means by forcing them to spend time and money on baseless legal proceedings.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
TCI Cablevision (now owned by AT&T) and producer Michael Aivaz have reached a settlement to a lawsuit in federal court over the cancellation of Aivaz's program on Seattle's cable access television channel. Under terms of the settlement, TCI for the first time has established formal procedures for acting on complaints about the content of public access programming.

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