Free Speech

The George Floyd Protests: A Free Expression Timeline

By |2020-09-18T13:01:41-04:00September 15th, 2020|News|

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 [...]

Court Decision Limits School Officials’ Ability to Punish Student Use of Social Media

By |2020-08-17T14:12:38-04:00August 13th, 2020|News|

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 [...]

Georgia High School Punishes Students Over Social Media Photos

By |2020-09-10T11:07:40-04:00July 6th, 2020|News|

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 [...]

Statement on Federal Police Abuses in Portland, Oregon

By |2020-08-24T13:04:28-04:00June 30th, 2020|News|

Editors Note: This statement was first published by NCAC and Defending Rights and Dissent on July 17, 2020. It was re-published on July 30, 2020 to reflect new developments and 45 additional co-signatories.  Unidentified federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Oregon, have detained protesters, whisking them away in unmarked cars. This shocking practice is evocative of repressive methods used by [...]

Libel Judgment Threatens Free Speech on College Campuses

By |2020-07-27T11:42:27-04:00June 17th, 2020|News|

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 [...]

NCAC Calls on Zoom to Defend Educators from Chinese Censorship

By |2020-07-07T16:37:31-04:00June 9th, 2020|News|

On June 15, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and PEN America joined in protesting Zoom’s decision to close the account of Humanitarian China, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes the development of human rights in China.  Zoom acted at the request of Chinese officials who wanted to suppress a virtual meeting commemorating the [...]

Joint Statement: The Free Press in a Time of Crisis

By |2020-08-24T13:07:48-04:00June 8th, 2020|News|

Editors Note: NCAC, joined by 55 organizations, released the following statement on June 8, 2020. The American people have witnessed the bravery of health care providers and other essential workers who have put their lives on the line to fight the coronavirus pandemic.  Now that we face another national crisis following the death of George Floyd, it is important to [...]

NCAC URGES STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS TO UPHOLD FREE SPEECH DURING FLOYD PROTESTS

By |2020-08-21T16:08:55-04:00May 27th, 2020|News|

NCAC has signed three letters urging state and local officials to uphold First Amendment rights during the protests over the death of George Floyd. It has joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 16 other press freedom, journalism, and civil liberties organizations in calling on Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, and [...]

Free Speech Under Fire

By |2020-06-09T10:13:10-04:00May 20th, 2020|News|

Free speech is under fire across the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. The protests that have erupted in hundreds of communities have been met by police officers who often fail in their duty to uphold the First Amendment right to assemble for the purpose of demanding change. Television cameras have [...]

Remembering Toni Morrison

By |2019-08-07T10:59:57-04:00August 6th, 2019|Blog|

Joan Bertin (former executive director, NCAC), Toni Morrison, Fran Lebowitz “The thought that leads me to contemplate with dread the erasure of other voices, of unwritten novels, poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being overheard by the wrong people, outlawed languages flourishing underground, essayists’ questions challenging authority never being posed, unstaged plays, canceled films—that thought is a nightmare. As [...]

Truth to Power: Film Contest Winners and Semi-Finalists

By |2019-06-24T14:13:05-04:00June 18th, 2019|Blog|

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 [...]

The Case Against De-Platforming

By |2019-05-03T14:24:38-04:00May 3rd, 2019|Censorship News Articles|

Support for free speech is not a dogma never to be questioned. When white supremacists violently march in Charlottesville under the banner of “free speech” while NFL players are penalized for protesting the murder of unarmed black people, can one still insist that those of us standing up against racism and working towards a more equitable society should engage politely with racist ideologues?

Oral Argument in Blum v. Holder appeal started this week

By |2020-01-03T14:08:28-05:00February 5th, 2014|Blog|

From Center for Constitutional Rights: Synopsis Blum v. Holder is a federal lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. The plaintiffs are five longtime animal rights activists whose advocacy work has been chilled due to fear of being prosecuted as a terrorist under the AETA. ... Pushed through Congress by a powerful lobby [...]

Small-Town Librarian Takes On Sony–and Wins

By |2019-03-15T17:22:43-04:00November 28th, 2012|Blog|

Don’t mess with Abbe Klebanoff, the head of public services for Pennsylvania’s Lansdowne Public Library. She encouraged teens to create a music video called "Read It" to the music of Michael Jackson's song, "Beat It," and posted it on YouTube. What followed was predictable—Sony objected and took it down, claiming copyright infringement. The passionate Klebanoff, who spent weeks helping the teens [...]

Video From Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park Standoff

By |2019-03-07T21:51:09-05:00November 15th, 2011|Blog|

This morning, we took a moment to capture a bit of the action at Zuccotti Park in the wake of the late night, NYPD eviction of the encampment that had lasted almost two months. Here, a participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement talks about the judge's restraining order stating protestors must be allowed entrance to Zuccotti Park (pending a [...]

Anti-Bullying Legislation: Good Intentions, but…

By |2020-01-03T13:43:11-05:00September 1st, 2011|Blog|

A New Jersey state law coming into effect today (Sept 1st)  is considered the “toughest legislation against bullying in the nation”. It may, however, also prove to be dangerously overbroad and stifle student speech on a variety of topics. Called the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the law was adopted in the aftermath of the suicide of a Rutgers University student [...]

Truly Free Speech Protects Kids From Bullying

By |2020-01-03T13:43:02-05:00July 29th, 2011|Blog|

Photo by rosipaw on Flicrk This week, Stephanie Mencimer at MotherJones.com reported on horrifying cases of harassment and suicides in the Anoka-Hennepin schools  of Minnesota, in Rep. Michelle Bachman’s district. The article, published within days of a suit filed against the district by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has further mobilized advocates calling for expanded anti-bullying policies and [...]

Sorrell Means Business

By |2020-01-03T13:42:53-05:00June 29th, 2011|Blog|

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 [...]

NCAC Calls For Release of Ai Weiwei

By |2020-01-03T13:40:25-05:00April 8th, 2011|Blog|

NCAC is adding to the global community of artists and institutions calling for the immediate release of the renowned Ai Weiwei, one China's most innovative and socially engaged creators. He was arrested at Beijing Airport this week for "economic crimes", and he alleges that in 2009 the security police attacked and beat him. Check out our call to [...]

WEAR IT PROUD

By |2020-01-03T13:40:08-05:00March 28th, 2011|Blog|

Button brought back from the March 2011 Culture Wars symposium with the Corcoran and Transformer DC.

Policing The Sacred – College Art Association Panel – Wednesday, February 9th, 12:30-2 PM

By |2020-01-05T23:16:09-05:00January 31st, 2011|Blog|

Policing The Sacred, organized by the National Coalition Against Censorship, looks at the volatile relationship between art, politics and religion.In recent decades the tensions between these have become intense, evident in the American culture wars of the 90s, the Danish cartoon uproar, and ongoing battles over artistic depictions of religious figures, including the recent removal of a David Wojnarowicz video from a show at the National Portrait Gallery. The panel, open to the public, takes place on Wednesday, February 9th, from 12:30-2 PM.

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