Thursday, February 26, 2004

Flex Your Rights

It's funny, I received an announcement yesterday from our emerging chapter of ACLU at UMASS about their new web site. It reminded me that I wanted to talk to Aron about organizing a screening of Busted - The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters.
Today I received a press release from the producers of the video, Flex Your Rights, announcing a mass screening campaign for late March through early April. I saw a premiere of this video last November where Ira introduced it and it lives up to its promo.

BUSTED is an extension of FYR's mission: To protect people from being searched, arrested, and jailed by training them how to assert their constitutional rights during police encounters.

Narrated by retired ACLU executive director Ira Glasser, BUSTED realistically depicts the pressure and confusion of common police encounters. In an entertaining and revealing manner, BUSTED illustrates the right and wrong ways to handle different police encounters, and pays special attention to demonstrating how you, the viewer, can courteously and confidently refuse police searches.

It's geared to a college age audience but it's a good refresher for viewers of any age, particularly in this time of Bush inspired Patriot Act infringements of civil liberties. You do have the right to refuse a police search without cause. The video reminds you how to make it stand up in court should they go ahead and do it anyway.

In any event, the student population in Amherst could benefit greatly from this screening and it's a natural fit for the new ACLU chapter don't you think? Kind of cosmic timing.


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