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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: 
Monday, May 12, 2014
Today, the ACLU of Washington (ACLU) and Columbia Legal Services (CLS) voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit after successfully getting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release hunger striking detainees from solitary confinement at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington.  The ACLU and CLS had filed this lawsuit on April 2, 2014 to prohibit ICE from retaliating against detainees at the NWDC who engage in First Amendment protected activities by placing them in solitary confinement.
Published: 
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
A man whom Sunnyside police arrested for videotaping a SWAT team has received an $8,000 settlement, reports the Yakima Herald-Republic. After the man posted a videotape of his arrest on YouTube, police requested the charges be dropped and the man sued for the violation of his rights.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, April 4, 2014
Federal immigration authorities have released hunger strikers from solitary confinement at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. The action came after the ACLU-WA and Columbia Legal Services sued U.S. Immigration and Enforcement for retaliating against hunger strikers. 
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, April 3, 2014
The ACLU-WA and Columbia Legal Services are seeking a court order to prohibit federal immigration authorities from punishing  hunger strikers by confining them isolation cells at the NW Detention Center. 
Published: 
Friday, December 20, 2013
The ACLU of Washington recently succeeded in advocacy that reaffirmed The Militant’s First Amendment right to inform and share its opinions with incarcerated individuals.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, March 8, 2013
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral argument in a lawsuit to uphold Working Washington’s free speech rights on light rail trains. The case will is being heard today, Friday, March 8 at the U.S. Courthouse in Seattle (1010 Fifth Ave., 7th floor). The ACLU of Washington is representing Working Washington in the suit.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
January 23 - Update:  The jury today reached a verdict and ruled in favor of the City of Tacoma.  No decision has been made yet as to whether to appeal the case. Suit Says Police Actions Aimed to Prevent Peaceful Protest The ACLU-WA is representing six citizens who are suing over violations of their rights to free speech and assembly by police at anti-war demonstrations at the Port of Tacoma. A jury trial in the case began in federal district court in Tacoma on January 7.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 5, 2012
A veterans group which has marched in Auburn’s Veterans Day Parade for the past six years is suing to march in the 2012 parade. The group says that the city of Auburn officials are violating free speech rights by unfairly denying its application to march in the civic celebration.
Published: 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A vibrant democratic society prizes freedom of speech. Its government does not try to protect the public from messages that some people find offensive or disturbing. President Obama asserted this principle before the United Nations General Assembly saying, "…in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities.”
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in a lawsuit seeking to uphold the Seattle Middle East Awareness Campaign’s free speech rights on Metro buses. It is when we are faced with speech which is upsetting to some people that support of the First Amendment is most important.

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