Support the First Amendment with 1 for All

by Joy Victory

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast, I’ve spent the past few months trying to wrap my head around the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent massive oil spill that is now ruining the coastline from Louisiana to Florida. At times, I have to turn off the news, as the images of dying wildlife hit me deep in my gut.

But now more than ever, this national tragedy has made me grateful for the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. While the oil continues to spew, the media — WordPress.com bloggers included — have been on the frontlines, making sure that Americans and everyone the world over know what is really happening in the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil spill has also made me realize how fragile this freedom is — as the Associated Press reported, “journalists covering the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have been yelled at, kicked off public beaches and islands and threatened with arrest …”

Which is why I’m happy to announce that WordPress.com is a proud supporter of the 1 for All campaign that launches today with the simple goal of raising awareness about the First Amendment. We join more than 1,000 media outlets who have partnered with 1 for All, and we have a special connection to the project — their site is hosted on WordPress.com.

Any U.S. resident is welcome to enter their “How Free Can You Be?” contest by submitting photos, videos and stories that illustrate First Amendment liberties. Back here on WordPress.com, please tag any posts you write about this topic with “First Amendment.” And since we know many of you don’t live in the United States, we welcome all readers — regardless of where you live — to discuss civil liberties in your country, as well. Please tag those posts with “human rights.”

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