The First Amendment Appears in Arabic in Campaign From the ACLU

Constitutional Words Protecting Free Speech, Religions Appears in Three Languages

Published On
Apr 04, 2017
The First Amendment

Editor's Pick

This bold campaign from the American Civil Liberties Union sets out to show how powerful the First Amendment is -- in any language.

Conceived out of New York-based Emergence Creative, the out-of-home effort simply, in black and white, features the amendment's famous words, but they're written in three diferent languages: Arabic, English and Spanish.

"This campaign is intended to remind people that the Constitution is for all of us," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU in a statement. "It doesn't matter who you are or what language you speak. 'We the People' means everyone From his attempted Muslim ban to his calls for media suppression to his remarks endorsing the use of violence against those who protest against him, President Trump has shown disdain for the rights and freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment, so we thought it was a good time to remind people of these rights."

Emergence Creative had approached the ACLU in December with the idea, on the heels of Donald Trump's election and in response to his campaign's anti-immigrant sentiment and his pledge to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. While the First Amendment protects free speech, it also protects citizens' rights to practice their religion, free from discrimination.

According to the ACLU's statement, a number of ad vendors refused to run the campaign, including reps dealing with ad space for both the New York and Washington D.C. MTAs, both of which do not run issue-oriented advertising.

The campaign is running on electronic billboards and posters in New York's Times Square, Washington. D.C., Williamsburg, Brooklyn and downtown Los Angeles. The ads will run in Times Square through June, while the D.C. bus shelter ads will be up for about a month. Other ads may follow in other cities in the coming weeks. Advertisers wishing to donate space for the campaign should contact the ACLU.