Celebrate Bill of Rights Day – Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, December 15th marks Bill of Rights Day! The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai’i (“ACLU”) celebrates the 220th anniversary of its ratification, offers free copies of the Bill of Rights to the public, and invites the public to contribute poems to the second annual “Bill of Rights Day Haiku Challenge.”

Get free copies of the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment Toolkit by contacting the ACLU of Hawaii. Include your name and a postal mailing address. Call (808)522-5906, neighbor islands toll-free: 1-877-544-5906, or email office@acluhawaii.org. To enter your Bill of Rights Day-themed haiku in the 2011 Haiku Challenge, read the entries so far and get the Challenge rules, visit https://acluhi.org/know-your-rights/2011-bill-of-rights-day-haiku-challenge/.

Executive Director Vanessa Chong said, “The Bill of Rights reflects the longstanding and fundamental values of the American people. These rights are in the spotlight daily in Hawaii and on the national level in government policies that impact free speech, freedom of religion, the right to associate with whom we want and the right to be treated fairly under the law.

The Bill of Rights exists to keep the government in check. Otherwise, we risk losing basic freedoms. Those individuals who are perceived as unpopular, poor or who lack political power are often the first to have their rights taken away. The best insurance is to know your Bill of Rights, use your rights and fight for them. Our responsibility to protect these rights becomes especially critical when government time and again seeks to overly expand its power, to silence marginalized communities or to undermine the rule of law.”

The Bill of Rights was added to the federal Constitution and ratified on December 15, 1791 to prevent a repeat of English government tyranny. In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared December 15 to be “Bill of Rights Day“.

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