US rights group calls on colleges to safeguard free speech during Israel-Palestine conflict


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called on colleges and universities in the United States to uphold free speech and resist attempts to investigate or disband student organizations advocating for Palestinian rights. In an open letter, the ACLU warned against politically motivated efforts to regulate speech on campuses, arguing that such actions could undermine the fundamental principles of academic communities. The letter comes amidst tensions in US academia as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, with some campuses facing pressure to crackdown on critics of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. Republican politicians have even threatened to withhold federal funding from universities that support Palestinian rights activism. The ACLU has rejected calls for investigations into student organizations and criticized the deactivation of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters in Florida universities. The organization emphasized the importance of protecting free speech, free association, and academic freedom, urging institutions to reject attempts to penalize student groups exercising their rights.


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