Statement from the
From the NC-ACLU Liberty Newsletter
Our chapter almost died a year and a half ago, but a committed
group of activists got together and brought it back to life.
Everyone that started coming to the meetings knew they wanted
to protect civil liberties but nobody knew quite how to do it
or what to do.
A year and a half later, the ACLU Chapter at NCSU is combating
anti - ACLU propaganda from the religious right, educating students
about the Moratorium for the Death Penalty in North Carolina,
spearheading a statewide initiative to have a strong and effective
ACLU Chapter in every public university in North Carolina and
selling cookies for civil liberties like hell. All of this would
not have been possible with out our 7 dedicated members, who
at times stood in freezing temperatures for 5 hours a day in
the Brickyard to promote ACLU and our campaigns.
Through out those long cold hours we’ve encountered some
intense opposition. Students accused us of taking prayer out
of schools, supporting child rapists, and even tried to persuade
us that racial profiling against blacks and Arabs is a good
thing. Of course, they lost the arguments because the facts
are always on our side.
One issue that was not as contentious as the others was the
death penalty. In September, with the help of Wake County ACLU,
we invited Alan Gell (who spent several years on the death row)
to speak at NC State One hundred and eighty students turned
In order to keep death penalty in the spotlight, we tabled
in the Brickyard throughout the semester, giving students our
cell phones so they could call the Governor between classes
and ask him to halt executions (when there were any). Students
were hesitant about calling the Governor, simply because they
didn’t know anything about the person being executed.
They were very curious, however, about the two-year moratorium
that could be passed this year in North Carolina legislature.
After a bit of persuasion, most students that came up, ended
up call the Governor anyway and gladly read about the moratorium.
Being all out of money and realizing that (thankfully) there
were only a few executions a year, we needed another reason
to stay in the public eye and keep people aware of our existence
and our message. We decided to sell Cookies for Civil Liberties.
The semester-long bake sale was a tremendous success. In two
months we raised around 150 dollars for our upcoming 2nd Annual
NC Student ACLU Chapters Conference, passed out a lot of ACLU
literature and spoke to a couple of hundred students and faculty.
Just when we thought we had a full load of issues to work on
already, we got word that students were being followed around,
harassed and questioned by the police and the FBI’s Joint
Terrorist Task Force during and after peaceful demonstrations
such as “Honk for Peace” and “Food Not Bombs”.
We’ve always read about this type of harassment on the
news and how the FBI infiltrated and harassed activist’s
organizations 60’s and 70’s. We never thought it
would happen here in Raleigh. Being only students, we realized
this matter can only be handled by professionals and quickly
referred it to the NC-ACLU chapter. Oddly enough, the national
ACLU filed a lawsuit through out the entire nation against the
FBI for exactly the same reason, harassing and infiltrating
peaceful organizations with out a reason.
The political atmosphere in the US is tense and pressure on
civil liberties is building. It’s good thing that our
chapter is finally organized, focused and ready to stand up
for our civil liberties.