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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has officially filed a lawsuit against Indiana University, claiming the school violated the First Amendment rights of individuals banned from the campus following their participation in pro-Palestine protests. 

The lawsuit, announced on Friday, targets the university’s decision to impose a one-year campus ban on three protestors: a local resident, a tenured professor, and a graduate student. The ACLU is arguing that these actions unlawfully restricted their freedom of speech.

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According to the ACLU, the bans are preventing these individuals from rejoining the ongoing demonstrations at Dunn Meadow—a designated free speech area on the university grounds. Legal Director of the ACLU of Indiana, Ken Falk, criticized the university’s actions, stating, “Indiana University cannot preemptively ban persons from engaging in protected expression by prohibiting them from entering Dunn Meadow for a year or more.”

Discussions around peaceful versus violent protests have also been highlighted recently, with President Biden speaking out. At the White House, President Biden said peaceful protests are protected under the First Amendment, but violent protests and occupying school campuses are not. 


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