This timeline tracks free expression issues that arose following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020. It is a working document that will be updated to reflect new developments. If you have something to add, please use our Report Censorship form. 5/25/20 George Floyd Killed by [...]
NCAC has joined a coalition of two dozen organizations calling on Congressional leaders not to reauthorize several expired provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorities by adding them as amendments to a must-pass appropriations bill or other emergency legislation. In a letter sent to Congress on September 14, NCAC and the other organizations argue that these controversial measures [...]
One of the most common complaints of students who come to NCAC for assistance is that they have been threatened with discipline for something that they said on social media. In an important decision that greatly reduced the power of school officials to “reach into a child’s home and control his/her actions” and speech, a panel of the Third Circuit [...]
When a school board in Alaska voted in April to remove five classic books from a high school reading list, it had no idea that it would outrage many in the community as well as several alumni of the school who are now rock stars. Although the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board reversed its decision a month later, the controversy [...]
On August 3 and 4, two students at North Paulding High School in Dallas, GA, posted pictures to social media showing students in crowded hallways where social distancing was clearly impossible. Most students were not wearing masks. Unsurprisingly, the pictures immediately became a topic of discussion in the national media. In response, the school suspended the students on the grounds [...]
NCAC is asking the University of Kentucky (UK) to cancel recently announced plans to remove a 1930’s-era mural depicting aspects of Kentucky history, including slavery. Some students have demanded its removal because they consider it demeaning to people of color on campus. In 2018, the university commissioned an installation by Karyn Olivier, a noted Black artist, that was painted above [...]
NCAC has joined several free speech organizations in supporting Oberlin College’s appeal of a $44 million libel judgment that threatens the free speech rights of its faculty and students. They filed an amicus brief in an Ohio appeals court on June 5. The case grew out of the arrest of three African American students in 2016 for attempted theft at [...]
WINDSOR, VT -- The Mt. Ascutney School District Board has removed Windsor School Principal Tiffany Riley from her position after she stated on her personal Facebook account that she disapproved of some of the tactics used by some Black Lives Matter activists. In response, NCAC has written to the school board urging them to rescind their decision to remove Ms. [...]
Rhetorically framed as defense of free speech, the President’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, is exactly the opposite: an attempt to intimidate social media platforms into yielding to the president’s views of what speech should be allowed online. While we agree that social media platforms “function in many ways as a 21st-century equivalent of the public square” and share [...]
Over 100 teen filmmakers spoke Truth to Power for this year’s YFEP Film Contest. We invited teens to speak directly to those in power to lead change about issues that matter to them. The 12 finalist films tackled a wide range of polarizing, and often taboo, topics including gun violence, immigrant family separation, gender equality, toxic masculinity, shaming and [...]
We join PEN America, a member of our coalition, in opposing Washington State’s decision to restrict access to used books in prisons.
NCAC shares PEN America’s grave concern about the President’s use of the levers of government power to retaliate against media companies for the content of their coverage.
NCAC condemns the recent move by the Trump administration to censor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by forbidding the use of certain words in official communications.
Given our current political climate we'd be wise not to take the protections afforded by the First Amendment for granted and to protest unconstitutional government action, as The Slants have successfully just done.
The state of Florida did not appeal the ruling against the “Firearms Owners' Privacy Act,” which prevented doctors from asking patients about their gun ownership.
The violent protesters of Charles Murray need to understand a basic principle: the right to speech exists for all, or for none.
NCAC is urging a Maryland school district to allow its teachers to display a series of posters promoting diversity and inclusion in America after administrators ordered their removal over concerns of political bias.
Turn Me On, Dammit!, an indie Norwegian film about a 15-year-old girl’s struggling with her burgeoning sexuality and dealing with high school tensions, has been widely acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, controversy led to the cancellation of a screening in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the film was scheduled to be shown as part of the Arts [...]
On Monday, June 27th, the Supreme Court announced that upon returning from its summer recess in October, it would revisit the Federal Communication Commission's rule that allows it to fine broadcasters for “indecency.” Last year, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC was violating broadcasters' free-speech rights. The Court also stated that [...]
Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. signified a subtle yet important shift in commercial speech interpretation that may precede increased corporate strength in the legal arena. The opinion, by Justice Kennedy, argues that Vermont did not have grounds to ban pharmaceutical data-mining as it is a form of non-deceptive commercial information-sharing that is [...]
A recent surge in vulnerability to search and seizure, despite protection under the Fourth Amendment, is creating a climate of fear of punishment for constitutional free expression. Multiple stories this week share the theme of government interpretation of the Fourth Amendment infringing on the rights of the public. If professionals and the public must live in fear of [...]
It’s true that the Smithsonian’s Flashpoints and Faultlines forum was too late for Hide/Seek, but keeping the issues alive months after the exhibit closed may be the right timing for the future of this public institution. It was no surprise that in his welcoming remarks Wayne Clough described himself as having no choice but to censor the artwork. Less expected [...]
Democracy Now! reports the Obama administration is continuing the Bush regime's policy of directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to search and copy computers, smartphones, cameras, and hard drives of "listed" Americans returning to the United States. ACLU (NCAC member!) staff attorney Catherine Crump says "many journalists and lawyers who often work abroad have also experienced similar interrogations." The ACLU [...]
NCAC occasionally publishes guest blogs on topics related to free speech. The views in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAC, however they raise important issues for discussion. By Vel Nirtist How do you keep the unwashed masses known as the "public" from highly prestigious and quite remunerative pursuit known as "public debate" which rightly belongs [...]
Censorship continues full front attacks on all the arts. Two weeks into 2011, we've already seen censorship of David Wojnarowicz at the National Portrait Gallery; a new edition of Mark Twain's Huckelberry Finn hit the bookstores, without the N-word; the arrest of Belarus theater director Nikolai Khalezin of Belarus Free Theatre and now the Waterbury Connecticut school district is attempting [...]
On Thursday, January 13th, a new museum opens in Washington, DC: The Museum of Censored Art, founded by art and free speech activists Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone. Mike and Mike are the iPad protesters, who were expelled from the National Portrait Gallery when they attempted to show David Wojnarowicz's video Fire In My Belly in the galleries of [...]
Ellen Hopkins, author of numerous Young Adult titles as well as most recently, the Banned Books Week Manifesto is being censored in Norman, Oklahoma. Hopkins was scheduled to speak at Whittier Middle School on September 22nd about her experiences as an author writing about real life issues facing youth today. However, her talk was reportedly cancelled by the district's superintendent [...]
Being so busy with campaigns promoting “freedom and democracy” in the Middle East and central Asia, it’s hardly surprising that most of us here in the United States are unaware of an archaic and abominable practice that continues here at home - book banning. The Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP), a collaboration of NCAC and the American Booksellers Foundation [...]
With what promises to be the most crowded inauguration in US history, SPLC has issued an advisory to student journalists planning on covering the event: The Student Press Law Center is advising college journalists who plan to cover events surrounding the Presidential Inauguration to be held January 20 in Washington, D.C., to take several precautionary steps to avoid being arrested [...]
An incident at North Carolina State University in early November involving hateful words directed at President-elect Obama has sparked debate on campus about the extent to which Hate Speech is Free Speech. The debate has apparently spread to the UNC campus as well. ABC News, Chapel Hill reports: After the controversy over racist comments spray-painted in the Free Expression Tunnel [...]
And yet not without consequences. After the November 4th election of Barack Obama, 4 North Carolina State students hit the “Free Expression Tunnel” to spray paint messages that have now sparked a fierce debate on campus about how to respond to hate speech. The messages, including one that read “let’s shoot that Nigger in the head”, have prompted strong response [...]
Comments from the blogosphere: wildrumpus 1 point Please login to rate. Do you already have an account? Log in and claim this comment. OK then. As a gay man in Michigan my reaction to this is: Wow, you got a $1000 donor to quit his job! What have you actually fixed other than punishing someone from exercising his 1st amendment [...]
The victory of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election has shown us signs of improving race relations in this country. Sadly this isn't the case some areas of the south where the election of the United States first black president have increased already high racial tensions. In North Carolina State University, four students spray-painted threatening and racist graffiti aimed at the [...]
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Fall Brook High School for violating free speech rights by getting rid of its journalism class and removing the faculty advisor to the school's newspaper after disputes over two articles. The first article was about the school board's refusal to close Fall Brook High School during the wildfires last year and [...]
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of 48 national, non-commercial organizations, including religious, educational, professional, artistic, labor, and civil liberties groups. United by a conviction that freedom of thought, inquiry and expression must be defended, they work to educate their members and the public about the dangers of censorship and how to oppose it. NCAC opposes food [...]