|How the ACLU May Use Your Contribution:
Allows the ACLU to review and respond to 150 written complaints approximately six
weeks worth from persons all over Louisiana who believe someone, usually the
government, has violated their rights.
$10/month: Pays filing fees for one civil rights lawsuit in Federal court.
$20/month: Provides out-of-pocket costs to support a public education forum or
debate on an issue such as keeping state-sponsored religion out of public schools,
fighting censorship, promoting equal opportunity for women and minority groups, or greater
rights for employees in the workplace.
What the ACLU Can Do for You and for Our Community:
The ACLU works daily to protect fundamental rights embodied in the federal and state
Constitutions freedom of speech and assembly to criticize the government; freedom
to practice ones religion or no religion without having the majority force its
beliefs on others; freedom to travel and associate with whomever we choose; and the right
to fair treatment when dealing with the government. Most people take these rights for
granted, but without an ACLU to enforce the Bill of Rights for individuals and guard
against unwarranted government control, the majority would trample the minority. That
happened with the British Crown in America and led to a revolution before we had a Bill of
Rights. Such strife continues today in Serbia and Northern Ireland, among other places,
with much of it related to religious and ethnic intolerance.
An Example of the ACLU in Action:
In 1996, two African-American women, Tanya Paul and Rochelle Askin, went into a bar in St.
Charles Parish to order drinks. Upon bringing them beverages, the waitress told them that
they could purchase the drinks, but would have to take them off the premises to drink
them. When the women asked about the reason for having to leave the bar when there was
ample seating available, the two women were told that the bar had a policy barring the
seating of blacks. The two women came to the ACLU for help. We responded by sending
testers, first black then white, into the bar with blacks denied seating and the whites
welcomed with open arms. A lawsuit was initiated and the bar ended up settling in favor of
the two women plaintiffs.