Ohio needs REAL bail reform. Every day in Ohio, thousands of people are kept behind bars, not because of what they have done, but because of what they don’t have. Our state’s overreliance on cash bail sets up a two-tiered system of justice in which those who can afford to buy their freedom go home, and those without deep pockets are pointlessly forced to languish behind bars.
Hamilton County has one of the highest rates of homelessness in Ohio. In the City of Cincinnati alone, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that over 7,500 people—about 1,800 of whom are children—will experience homelessness in any calendar year.
In the United States, people are allowed to carry a loaded gun capable of mass killings, but I was treated as a criminal for carrying a camera with the intention of helping people.
I am an independent photographer, artist, and journalist.
As we stated in our blog Banned Books Week… More Relevant than Ever? , we here at the ACLU love Banned Books Week—and rightfully so! As you may already know, the ACLU firmly stands against censorship of all types, and that most certainly includes the banning of books.
Do you think the practice of banning books is a thing of the past? Something that books such as Animal Farm, The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird have been subject to??
Just earlier this month, the internationally beloved Harry Potter series was banned yet again by a Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee for supposedly depicting “actual curses and spells.” Similarly, in April of this year, a Georgia sheriff was illegally denying books to prisoners by implementing a policy that not only restricted “incoming books from family, publishers and organizations, but also remove[d] existing books from inmates” – thus limiting reading options to a “jail book cart.”
Do you think these are two instances few and far in between?
Cleveland Councilman Wanting More Prayer at Meetings Must Support True, Not Token, Religious Diversity
The First Amendment guarantees all persons the right to practice their faith without government intrusion, including the right to abstain from religious belief or expression altogether.
This goes to the heart of what it means to be American. The Constitution’s insistence on religious freedom makes our personal liberties genuine.
The First Amendment is 45 words. 45 powerful words. But do you know what the First Amendment does and does not protect in the realm of online content, especially on social media? It might not protect what you think it does.
It took many decades of lawsuits and court decisions to establish the parameters and boundaries of free speech in this country. As a result, society has reasonably clear guidance on who can speak, when they can speak, where they can speak, and what they can say without running afoul of interference or punishment from their government.
Opinion: The Students are Right — Taking Action on Gun Violence Does Not Violate the Second Amendment
*This piece originally appeared in the Sun Sentinel on March 2, 2018 and was written by the ACLU of Florida’s Executive Director, Howard Simon and Political Director Kirk Bailey.*
After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the world wept “not again,” routine talking points were dusted off, and thoughts and prayers rolled in.
By Emma Keeshin
One of the most important rights we have in our democracy is the right to speak out on issues we care about. After 17 high school students and teachers were killed in Parkland, Florida on February 14, gun regulation quickly became one of the most discussed issues in the public sphere, and many students around the country began to speak out.Tags: Civil disobedience
By Dan Rogan
“Information is a Right: The Press’s Role in Illuminating Mass Incarceration and Race”
With Keynote Speaker Jamil Smith
The 2017 Belle and Ed Likover Lecture
Sunday, October 22, 2 p.m.
Cleveland State University
Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Center, Annex
2000 Prospect Ave.
By Emma Keeshin
With so many candidates for Cleveland mayor and City Council this year, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. But something you must keep track of is their commitment to police reform in Cleveland.
That’s because Cleveland is in year two of a multi-year police reform process, known as the consent decree, which is overseen by a federal judge after the U.S.
The Cleveland Indians home opener represents spring weather, renewed hope for a World Series title, and an unfortunate social stigma. It has become impossible to overlook the controversy that the Chief Wahoo logo generates as it continues to perpetuate racism against Native Americans.
“But I want to just tell you, the false reporting by the media, by you people, the false, horrible, fake reporting makes it much harder…”
If President Trump feels hounded by the news media, imagine how they feel being threatened by the U.S.
The right to dissent is a founding principle of our country. Often, in the United States and abroad, powerful forces attempt to suppress speech in times of political tension or when people are making demands for change. Yet, this is exactly when speech and assembly are most important.
Several well-established nonprofit organizations in Michigan found their longstanding holiday fundraising drives put on ice this year by Bill Schuette, Michigan’s Attorney General. Media reports that several planned fundraisers—such as fire fighters’ “fill the boot” drive for Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Old Newsboys annual fundraiser—have already been shut down based on Schuette’s aggressive (and potentially unconstitutional) interpretation of a traffic law.
By Joanna Saul
The RNC is barely underway and civil liberties are already at the forefront of the discussion.
Following the tragic shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association sent a letter to Governor John Kasich requesting that he outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until after the RNC is over.
For many Clevelanders, the Republican National Convention will be the first time they witness a major political event of this kind. The last time Cleveland hosted the RNC was in June 1936. The RNC will also be an outstanding opportunity for residents to join one of the greatest cornerstones of the American democratic process, watching the presumed Republican nominee, Donald Trump, become one of the nation’s presidential candidates.
By Eva McKnight
Jerry Hill has been holding a sign and pleading for help on the streets of Akron, Ohio for roughly a decade. He hates the label of “panhandler,” but was required to register as one in accordance with the city’s recently repealed ordinance, just to solicit donations so that he and his family could eat.
By Steve David
For many Clevelanders, Opening Day is a special holiday. They have survived another winter, so it’s time to celebrate.
And who could think of a better way to express your joy than by wearing racist symbols and yelling epithets at people trying to reclaim their history?
By Shakyra Diaz
Should the people at the Statehouse get to decide what speech is true and what speech is false? Should state judges have the authority to declare that people cannot air certain ads, post certain billboards, or hand out certain leaflets during an election?
By Maria Bruno
As an employee of the ACLU, sometimes talking about my job can be a challenge. Those who have heard of the ACLU tend to associate us with “crazy liberals,” defending the KKK, or being anti-Christian. These are not the easiest associations to shed.
By Shakyra Diaz
Last week, Christopher John White’s difficult life met a tragic end at the young age of 34. For some time, Chris had been living without shelter in Columbus, Ohio. Official records state his address simply as “Streets of Columbus.” On November 19, Chris drowned after police attempted to arrest him for asking for help.
By Shakyra Diaz
Helping out a neighbor in need is one of the best things that we do as humans. It shouldn’t be a crime to ask for that help.
Yet Akron, Dayton, and other cities across Ohio and the country have passed laws that try to silence those in need from telling others about it.
By Steve David
The First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to freedom of speech. Yet, ever since the U.S. Constitution was ratified 227 years ago, forces have been seeking to silence and control public discourse.
In recent years, wealthy individuals have undermined free speech by filing punitive lawsuits against their critics.
Rather than look to Tampa, Cleveland should throw away the repressive policing playbook for the RNC in 2016
By Steve David
Photograph courtesy of Lig Ynnek, Creative Commons
Earlier this month, a Cleveland.com article asked if Tampa’s approach to policing the RNC 2012 protests would “provide a blueprint for Cleveland as it prepares to host the next Republican National Convention a year from now?”
However, that may be the wrong question to ask.
By Steve David
If the new protest ordinance passed by Cleveland City Council raised alarms for you, you’re not alone. Whenever government does things at the last minute with no opportunity for public comment, appropriate reactions are usually skepticism and frustration.
But considering the old ordinance was full of vague language that left the door open to abuses by the city and police, the new rules are a net benefit—despite the bad practice of their passage.
By Dan Rogan
The ACLU has always protected freedom of speech. Throughout history this has dealt with issues that were, at that time, considered uncomfortable.
Our future leaders, millennials, have been identified as the most socially liberal generation yet. So as social conscience is changing, uncomfortable issues are becoming comfortable, and those on the wrong side of history will be pushed out of the mainstream of our national zeitgeist.
Editor’s Note: On May 23, Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was acquitted in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
I was in class, listening with one ear to the live stream of the Brelo verdict on my laptop.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
King’s words echo in my ears whenever people state how we should be careful when we write or speak about what we truly believe in.