The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio warned the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library that recent censorship of public educational programs could stifle free speech.

Recently, the CH-UH library cancelled the first program in a series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, amid complaints that the presentation would be biased.

“The cancellation of this event is blatant and shameful censorship of particular views. Libraries should be a place where members of the public congregate and exchange ideas with one another,” ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Jeffrey Gamso said.

“The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library has, in effect, said that only opinions that are not controversial will be given a platform there.”

The cancelled program was co-sponsored by Cleveland Peace Action and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The program was to feature a 30-minute documentary called “Searching for Peace in the Middle East,” followed by a structured public discussion facilitated by members of the Arab, Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities.

The library has reported that it will still allow the final two events in the three-part series to be held at the library.

Click the link below to go to the ACLU Web site and view the letter sent to CH-UH library Director Steve Wood.


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