Free Speech

NCAC and DDA Join Other Organizations to Demand Internet Infrastructure Providers Stop Censoring User-Generated Content

By |2022-12-02T13:26:11-05:00December 2nd, 2022|News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK – Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), which represents 59 education, publishing, religious and arts organizations and Don’t Delete Art (DDA), a project of NCAC and several other organizations and artists, joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and over 50 other organizations and institutions in supporting Protect the Stack, a statement calling on internet infrastructure providers not [...]

Artistic Freedom and the Internet Infrastructure

By |2022-12-02T13:27:52-05:00December 1st, 2022|Blog, News|

Companies providing core internet infrastructures—including internet service providers, website host companies, payment processors, and more—rarely have substantial contact with their users, user-generated content, or user activities. And, even though they typically lack expertise, authority, resources, and policies to regulate user content with consistency, many online infrastructure companies do just that. The result has severely restricted free speech on the internet, [...]

NCAC Condemns San Francisco Public Library’s Cancellation of Art Exhibition

By |2022-10-05T10:28:59-04:00October 5th, 2022|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) regarding their decision in March to cancel the exhibition Wall + Response over objections to an idea expressed in one of the pieces. It is our understanding that when Wall + Response was approved by library officials, the poems and murals comprising the project [...]

Spotsylvania, Virginia, School District Removes Books Without Review

By |2022-09-27T13:37:27-04:00September 27th, 2022|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to Spotsylvania County Public Schools in Virginia, regarding the removal of district library books without following their established review policy. As we understand the situation, in response to a local parent challenging 13 district library books, four were removed by district personnel without following Board Policy IIA*-R. This policy explicitly states [...]

Conroe, Texas, School District to Remove “Obscene” Books from Libraries

By |2022-08-31T15:18:31-04:00August 22nd, 2022|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Conroe Independent School District in Conroe, Texas, regarding recently adopted policies which require parental permission to check out allegedly obscene books from libraries while they are under review. Under the new policies, students will be required to have parental permission to check out challenged books, if the review could “reasonably [...]

NCAC and FIRE Issue Joint Letter to Pennsylvania School District on Unconstitutional Policy Proposal

By |2022-08-15T12:21:33-04:00August 15th, 2022|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression have cowritten a letter to the Pennridge School District in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, demanding changes to a proposed policy that would unconstitutionally restrict the communications that students can distribute both on and off school grounds. The proposed policy is shockingly broad and impermissibly vague. If implemented it [...]

NCAC Urges New York School District to Support Free Expression

By |2022-08-08T16:55:20-04:00August 8th, 2022|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has delivered a letter to the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board in Auburn, New York, in response to proposed amendments to its Instructional Materials and Controversial Issues policy that will allow parents to limit access to school library materials. Policy amendments are in response to complaints made early this year about All Boys Aren't [...]

NCAC Criticizes Rhode Island School District for Silencing Student Protesters

By |2022-07-18T14:43:28-04:00July 18th, 2022|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Superintendent of Foster-Glocester Regional School District in Glocester, Rhode Island, after students at Ponaganset High School were silenced for expressing their personal views.  The students in question, according to The Providence Journal, brought “anti-tolerant” flags to school following a Pride Month celebration. It is unclear if the students faced disciplinary action, but [...]

Free Speech and the War in Ukraine

By |2022-03-08T18:46:22-05:00March 8th, 2022|News|

In times of war, free speech suffers. Right and wrong appear indisputable. There is moral certainty that “God is on our side.” When we are convinced that the enemy is producing only dangerous lies and propaganda, we want to bar their entry into the marketplace of ideas.   The war between Russia and Ukraine is the latest test of our commitment [...]

Body Language: 2021 Film Contest Winners

By |2022-02-18T15:05:29-05:00February 17th, 2022|Blog, News|

For this year’s YFEP Film Contest, we invited teens to create a film on the importance of expressing one’s gender and identity through personal appearance. The 3 winners tackled a wide range of polarizing, and often taboo, topics including gun violence, immigrant family separation, gender equality, toxic masculinity, shaming and bullying, and climate change. The Chairs of the New [...]

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 [...]

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