President Trump represents a historic threat to freedom of speech and religion in our country. The President made Islamophobia official government policy and encouraged police to patrol and profile Muslim neighborhoods. He regularly calls the press and his critics the “enemy of the people” and encourages his supporters to attack peaceful protesters. The rights to speech and religion are fundamental to the founding of our country and if they fall, our democracy could collapse along with them.
While Trump’s actions capture the headlines, there are constant threats to free speech from local governments that sometimes fly under the radar. The New York Civil Liberties Union protects the rights of New Yorkers to protest and to engage in political boycotts. We continue our decades-long effort to stop police departments from using a person’s religion as a pretext for unjustified and unwarranted spying. And we beat back efforts to erase the bedrock separation of church and state in our schools and our communities.