The government cannot be in the business of telling people what they can say. But that has never stopped government officials from trying to silence dissent. And while all New Yorkers’ free speech rights are important, history shows us that the least powerful, most marginalized, and most discriminated against are more likely to be targeted. It is no coincidence that Black activists have been labeled “black identity extremists” by the FBI, or that Palestinians and their supporters find themselves on government blacklists for their peaceful political activity.
The New York Civil Liberties Union understands the incredible power of people coming together over shared ideals. That’s one of the reasons the NYCLU opposes government attempts to stamp out protected speech and combats anti-boycott measures that impose state sanctions based on political beliefs.