HARTFORD - The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut responded to ongoing student-led protests at colleges and universities across the state of Connecticut, including University of Connecticut and Yale University.

The following reaction can be attributed to Dan Barrett, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut:

"Freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate are foundational principles of democracy and core constitutional rights. While the ACLU of Connecticut does not take a position on the conflict in Israel and Palestine, we are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and association, including on college and university campuses in Connecticut. 

Schools should actively foster environments that promote the free exchange of ideas and encourage debate. As such, we caution universities against taking actions that would inhibit students' peaceful expression, and we urge law enforcement to limit their involvement, as excessive police presence can unnecessarily escalate tensions on campuses.

All students deserve equal access to education, free from discrimination based on religion, race, or ethnicity. Universities have a responsibility to protect all students from violence, discrimination, and censorship.

We encourage all students to familiarize themselves with their schools’ policies regarding demonstrations and protests and to be aware of their rights.”


If you’d like to learn more about your rights as a protester, go to our Know Your Rights Guide: Protesters’ Rights.

If you’d like to learn more about your First Amendment Rights on campus, go to ACLU National’s Know Your Rights Guide: Students’ Rights.