The rights to free speech, assembly, worship, and a press are critical to an informed and engaged public. The ACLU of Maryland is a vigilant defender of the First Amendment because we believe the free exchange of ideas is among the greatest instruments that communities that are not provided adequate resources, wield. As forums for public discourse evolve on electronic platforms, upholding free speech remains a cornerstone of our work.
Freedom of speech is so integral to democracy that its protection is assured within the very First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court has written that this freedom is “the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom.” Methods of publishing, assembly, worship, and censorship are quickly changing, and the ACLU of Maryland works tirelessly to ensure that our constitutional protections keep pace.
The ACLU of Maryland is monitoring and taking action to support individuals and organizations who experience First Amendment violations for speaking in support of the rights of Palestinians, against the violence in Gaza, and who criticize the actions and policies of the Israeli government and the U.S. government’s involvement in the crisis. We have particular concerns for students and civil servants who have been silenced and even punished.