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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects something that cannot be."
"The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing."
"No nation ancient or modern ever lost the liberty of freely speaking, writing, or publishing their sentiments, but
forthwith lost their liberty in general and became slaves."
--John Peter Zenger
"Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves."
"Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order." --Justice Robert H. Jackson
"The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people,
and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"Freedom is not a luxury that we can indulge in when at last we have security and prosperity and enlightenment; it is, rather, antecedent to all
of these, for without it we can have neither security nor prosperity nor enlightenment."
-- Henry Steele Commager
"To suppress minority thinking and minority expression would tend to freeze society and prevent progress ... Now more than ever, we must keep in
the forefront of our minds the fact that whenever we take away the liberties of those we hate, we are opening the way to loss of liberty for those we love."
"We cannot fight for freedom abroad by surrendering it at home." --Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." --George Washington
"It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others." --Thomas Jefferson
"A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left." --Justice William O. Douglas
"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us." --Justice William O. Douglas
"Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population." --Albert Einstein
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison
"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence." --Charles A. Beard
"We cannot choose freedom established on a hierarchy of degrees of freedom, on a caste system of equality like military rank. We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." --William Faulkner
"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought --not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate." --Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The following links are provided for information only. The Monterey County Chapter of the ACLU makes no guarantee about the quality or accuracy of non-ALCU sites. [As noted, some of the links below are in PDF format. If you need the viewer for this file format, go to Adobe Acrobat Reader.]