Amid ongoing conflict, many people in the United States are expressing their support for Palestinian people in the form of peaceful protests across the country.  

Most recently, large groups of students and staff at universities and colleges participating in Pro-Palestine demonstrations in the U.S. have been met with excessive responses such as suspensions, detainment, and arrests that chill free expression. In Colorado, police have responded to some of those demonstrations on the Auraria Campus with mass arrests and detentions. 

The ACLU of Colorado strongly opposes efforts to stifle free speech, free association, and academic freedom in the U.S. 

The following statement can be attributed to Deborah Richardson, Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado: 

“Open dialogue, free speech and peaceful dissent make up the foundations of our democracy. Much like throughout our country’s history, students today continue to be on the frontlines of civil rights movements. We urge universities to remain steadfast in their commitment to these values. Students and faculty at public colleges and universities have a First Amendment right to express themselves freely and that includes political opinions, criticism of foreign governments or groups, and any speech against, or in favor of, any party or movement. It is essential that universities remain a marketplace of ideas and expression, where viewpoints are explored, and debate is encouraged.  To that end, the ACLU urges campus administrators to exercise restraint in interfering with student demonstrations and encampments.” 

“Similarly, we urge law enforcement agencies to honor the First Amendment rights of students, exercise restraint, and prioritize de-escalation. Stifling speech through heavy-handed intervention is antithetical to the principles of higher education and the values of our country.” 

As these protests continue, the ACLU can provide many resources to help educate the public about their rights while protesting.  You can access some of them here: