Last week, the Authors Guild was one of dozens of groups to sign on to the following statement by the Free Expression Network (FEN)—an alliance of organizations dedicated to protecting the First Amendment right of free expression and headed by the National Coalition Against Censorship. The statement stresses the historical role that journalism and the right to protest play in our constitutional structure, and further implores the nation’s leaders to set “national policy that unequivocally supports a free and independent press.”

“Our Constitution enshrines the press as an independent watchdog and bulwark against tyranny and official misconduct,” the statement declares. The groups conclude by “condemn[ing] in the strongest possible terms all efforts by elected and appointed officials to penalize, delegitimize, or intimidate members of the press.”

Read the full statement below.