1984 May 18

ACLU Issue “Free Trade in Ideas” Report; Condemns Reagan Administration Actions


The ACLU on this day released a report, Free Trade in Ideas: A Constitutional Imperative,” which condemned actions by the administration of President Ronald Reagan in restricting the free flow of ideas, and their advocates, in and out of the United States.

In March 1983, for example, Hortensia Allende, widow of the last democratically elected President of Chile, was denied a visa to enter the U.S. because the administration thought he planned speech would be “prejudicial to the public interest.” In January 1983 the Justice Departments classified three Canadian films on such subjects as acid rain and nuclear war, as “political propaganda,” and denied them from being imported into the U.S. The administration also restricted the scientific work of scientists in the U.S. by imposing export control restrictions on speaking, teaching, and publication of their work, even in the case of unclassified research.

Read: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Read the ACLU FBI File (not the complete file): http://vault.fbi.gov/ACLU

Learn about the ACLU today: www.aclu.org


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