Jeff Gray, a U.S. Army veteran and retired truck driver, has been repeatedly stopped, detained, searched, and arrested by the police. His alleged crime? Holding signs — in front of city halls across the United States.
Freedom of speech is a human right and a fundamental American freedom. It’s essential for democracy, scientific progress, artistic expression, social justice, peace, and each individual’s ability to live authentically.
At FIRE, we believe free speech is a force for good and have been defending free speech since 1999.
We also know free speech is under threat.
FIRE’s vision is an America in which people overwhelmingly believe in the right of others to freely express views different from their own, and expect their laws and educational institutions to reflect and teach this belief.
I have been harassed, trespassed, handcuffed and arrested countless times for peacefully exercising my First Amendment rights. My intention is to ensure that all Americans from the wealthiest millionaire to the poorest homeless person can exercise these rights without fear of consequence from our government.
"The county’s actions are an outrageous infringement of Pennsylvanians’ First Amendment rights," said plaintiff Kevin Gaughen, a board member for Pennsylvania’s new Keystone Party. "We are filing this lawsuit to protect the First Amendment rights of everyone in Dauphin County."
The Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Department prohibited a candidate and a board member of his political party from collecting signatures in a public park. The department’s actions are a clear violation of the duo’s First Amendment right to political expression.
|1||Michigan Technological University Public||78/100||Green|
|2||Auburn University Public||72/100||Green|
|3||University of New Hampshire Public||72/100||Green|
|4||Oregon State University Public||71/100||Green|
|5||Florida State University Public||69/100||Green|
|6||University of Virginia Public||68/100||Green|
|7||Texas A&M University - College Station Public||67/100||Green|
|8||George Mason University Public||67/100||Green|
|9||University of North Carolina - Greensboro Public||67/100||Green|
|10||University of Colorado Boulder Public||66/100||Green|
Facing censorship or retaliation for protected speech? FIRE lawyers are here to help you when your free speech rights are violated.
FIRE’s signature, core defense program provides free, non-legal assistance to individuals whose fundamental civil liberties are violated, with a special focus on college students, professors, student media, and campus groups.
FIRE’s College Policy Reform team works to proactively and systematically challenge campus policies that violate the free speech rights of students and faculty.
FIRE defends your individual rights at both the state and federal level by advocating on behalf of rights-protective legislation and against proposed laws that would abridge those rights.
Too many college campuses silence students who dare exercise their right to free expression. For a more thorough analysis of your expressive rights at colleges and universities, consult FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus.
No student should ever face the threat of a degree hold for exercising their free speech rights.
When Stanford University launched an investigation into Nicholas Wallace over a satirical email, FIRE sprang into action so he wouldn’t miss graduation.
The FIRE Faculty Network is a coalition of college faculty interested in promoting and defending free expression and academic freedom at their institutions.
The FIRE Student Network is a coalition of college students who recognize the importance of advancing civil liberties on their campuses.
Help us build a movement and promote a strong culture of free speech by supporting FIRE with a donation today.
Amid high-profile controversies surrounding free speech and racial equality, former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser reflects on his life at the forefront of defending the rights of all Americans.
In 2022 alone, FIRE’s Campus Rights Advocacy team won 70 campus rights victories, impacting the rights of thousands of college students and faculty.
Since 1999, FIRE has won 529 defense victories at 315 colleges and universities.
In 2022, FIRE vetted nearly 1,400 case submissions involving individuals and groups who said their rights were threatened.
In 2022, FIRE’s College Policy Reform team won 46 victories at 23 schools affecting 400,000 students.
Resources for incoming students about their free speech rights on college campuses.
Limiting your free speech rights to “free speech zones” is wrong. Here’s why.
Explore the history of free speech from the Magna Carta to the Supreme Court using our interactive timeline.
For educators who want to enrich and supplement their existing instruction on First Amendment and freedom of expression issues in middle and high school classrooms.
In this course, you’ll learn about how the right to freedom of speech has evolved over human history, how it promotes peace in society and uplifts minority voices, and why censorship is never the answer to dissident speech.
Online payment processors like Venmo and PayPal often deny Americans access to these vital services based on their speech or viewpoints. When these companies appoint themselves the arbiters of what speech and views are acceptable, shutting people and organizations out of the online financial ecosystem for wrongthink, they seriously undermine our culture of free expression.
Learn more about how FIRE advocates for your rights.
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