The U.S. system of government is founded on the idea of majority rule balanced by a guarantee of individual rights—especially the right to dissent from and criticize the government. Civil liberties are threatened when an administration or Congress believes in protecting the rights and privileges of the government instead of those of the people.
The framers of the Constitution understood the importance of this issue and enacted the Bill of Rights to protect the people against excesses by government. Civil liberties belong to everyone citizens, visitors, students—all persons.
Free speech issues were raised when Sands Bethworks donated land to the city with restrictions on free speech, members of the Steelworkers Union, members of the Lehigh University faculty, and community defenders of civil liberties organized a rally there in October 2012.
If Civil Liberties & the Bill of Rights are of interest to you, we invite you to join the FreeSpeech email group.
When Sands BethWorks, of which Las Vegas Sands Corp. is the majority partner, deeded property for the Levitt Pavilion and the ’21st Century Town Square’ at the SteelStacks campus, they included a stipulation that the property could not be used … more
To make good decisions about sustainability, people need to know the facts. Here are some questions that have arisen and might be suitable for class projects or independent study: What steps can local & county government take to produce immediate reductions in … more
I Have Been to the Mountaintop Martin Luther King, Jr. April 3, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee “Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy in his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered … more
Fair Trade isn’t just about coffee. Many commodities are subject to abuse by large trading corporations and large growers. Coffee is perhaps the largest volume, but tea, chocolate, sugar, bananas, and many others are also important. Chocolate is subject not … more
The following statement by the Bethlehem Police Department is a positive response to the Occupy! movement. We’ve posted it here because it is also a good recap of the reasons why protest is not only important, but is also protected … more
Following is the first collective statement from the New York City General Assembly, issued October 5 2011. As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. … more
Although some schools act as if the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to students in school, the Supreme Court of the U.S. has made clear that it does apply. In many schools right here in the Lehigh Valley, students are denied … more
Lehigh ValleyThe U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions guarantee certain rights, and most of them apply to students in public schools. The Pennsylvania School Code and the federal Equal Access Act spell out some additional rights for public-school students. For instance, students … more