University of Virginia: Student’s “Burn It All Down” Sign Ordered Removed As Incitement


University of Virginia

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Case Overview


On March 13, 2021, a student at the University of Virginia tweeted a photo of a display on the exterior door of her on-campus residence along with a letter, dated the previous day, from UVA notifying her that the display would be removed because it “advocates physical violence, and could spur it” and carries “the potential for incitement.” On March 15, FIRE wrote to UVA to explain that the display — which features an image of a Klansman, the Angel of Death, a Kwame Ture quote (“In order for non-violence to work, your opponent must have a conscience”), and the words “UVA HAS NONE!” and “BURN IT ALL DOWN” — is not unprotected incitement. UVA refused, arguing that the sign was a “threat to security.”