The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont [ACLU VT]
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is freedom's watchdog, working in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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Are You About To Lose Your License?


Look closely -- this plastic document no longer says "Operator's License" but "Driver's Privilege Card." It's what you'll get if you say you don't want a "REAL ID" driver's license. REAL ID is Congress's attempt to create a national identity card. It was a bad idea when it was proposed in 2005, and it's still a bad idea -- but the Vermont DMV wants you to get one. You don't have to. You can say "no" to REAL ID. And if you do, feel "privileged."



Profiling: Not Only Wrong,
It's Bad Policing

Vermont is struggling with a racial profiling problem. We lock up a grossly disproportionate number of African-Americans in our jails. A national ACLU study showed African-Americans in Vermont are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. Vermont police stop data points to higher search and ticket rates for African -American drivers than white drivers. Prejudging someone according to skin color leads to bad policiing. Profiling is nothing more than a short-cut to conclusions that aren't based on evidence. Learn more about dealing with profiling -- a problem we've got to solve.


Surveillance on the Northern Border

Automated license plate readers, cell phone tracking data, facial recognition software, drones, fusion centers, Border Patrol stops nearly a hundred miles from the Canadian line – where’s all this leading? Government isn’t supposed to be collecting information about us unless we’re suspected of breaking the law. Learn more! Watch our surveillance video on YouTube*! Read our report, Surveillance on the Northern Border!

There's more! See the first-ever drone video flyover* of the Vermont Statehouse!

Students -- Know Your Rights!

"Can they do that?" It's a question we get asked all the time from students in Vermont public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1969 Tinker vs. Des Moines case that students "don't shed their constitutional rights" at the schoolhouse gate.

Our Student Rights Handbook touches on everything from dress codes to censorship, searches to discipline. Learn about your rights at school -- and exercise them.

Multimedia Corner

Recent ACLU videos (all but "Lesbian Couple" are on YouTube*, unless noted):

From our 2010 annual meeting:

From our 2009 annual meeting:

From our 2009 civil liberties conference on First Amendment rights:

*Please note that by playing thisvideo, YouTube will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see YouTube’s privacy statement on their Web site to learn more. You can also go directly to YouTube to view the video.
**This video is hosted on the National ACLU Web site. To view the National ACLU’s privacy statement, click here.
***This video is hosted on vimeo.com.


Civil Liberties Blog

State Official Sketches Rationale For Broad Surveillance

October 26, 2015

A state official has outlined the rationale for Big Brother-like collection of information about Vermonters: If we’re charged with a crime, we should have access to information that can prove our innocence. Government, in other words, should focus on data collection that might prove who HASN’T committed a crime rather than show who HAS committed a crime. Read the rest of this entry »

Support Us On ebay!

We've posted some new items on our ebay auction site -- a Concept2 rower and Bennington Potters stoneware.. Bidding is open through Sunday, Nov. 29! More info.

Items Of Interest

Former Gov. Phil Hoff Honored At Annual Meeting

Philip H. Hoff, who served as Vermont governor from 1962 to 1968, was presented with the ACLU-VT Lifetime Achievement Award by Allen Gilbert, executive director, at our 48th annual meeting in Montpelier Nov. 7. Hoff was honored for his "unswerving belief in the importance of the Constitution to ensure individual rights and in the responsibility of goverment to improve people's daily lives." Years before he was governor, Hoff -- a private attorney -- was "correspondent" in Vermont for the ACLU, before there was a Vermont affiliate. When the affiliate formed in 1967, Hoff -- by then governor -- was a founding member. He later served on the ACLU-VT Board of Directors and has continued an active supporter. Read more about the meeting, including other awards.


Locked Up and Shipped Away

Vermont, like the rest of the nation, puts too many people in jail. The result is overcrowding in the state's prisons, leading to the transfer of inmates to private out-of-state prisons. The ACLU-VT is part of a coalition,

Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, that’s working with the national group

“Grassroots Leadership” to cut Vermont’s ties with private, for-profit prisons and bring Vermont inmates home. You can help — sign the “Locked Up and Shipped Away” petition to bring Vermont inmates home.


Protect Your Privacy Online!

When you learn, share, shop, and connect online, a lot happens behind the scenes that companies and the government don't want you to know. The sites that you visit can collect detailed information about you -- your interests, politics, relationships, and more. This information can be shared, sold, or handed over to the government -- without a warrant.

Look behind the curtain to see what's really happening to your personal info. See what you can do to take back control and keep details about your private life from being used and abused. Demand Your dotRights is a special project of the ACLU of Northern California



Want to know what the government knows about you?

File a FOIA.

Here's how.



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