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"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others." -- William Allen White
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation."
-- General Douglas MacArthur
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
The American system of government is founded on two counterbalancing principles: that the majority of the people governs, through democratically elected representatives; and that the power even of a democratic majority must be limited, to ensure individual rights.
The ACLU and its members are deeply engaged in protecting our fundamental freedoms, from building momentum for Patriot Act reform, to leading the charge on free speech, reproductive rights, accountability for government-sanctioned torture, and religious liberty, including challenges to "intelligent design" in our children's classrooms.
As a visitor to our website, you are already interested in the battles we are fighting and winning. Today, we face unprecedented challenges, and our 500,000 members are more important than ever in helping to preserve the liberties we all hold dear.
If you aren't a member, we urge you to join the ACLU and stand with us now. Become a card-carrying member of the ACLU.
If you are already a member, please help us increase our strength by inviting your friends and family to join you in standing up for freedom with the ACLU.
Every new member will add their voice to the chorus that is growing louder every day, questioning the policies and practices that put our freedoms at risk and taking action to remedy them. Your membership will make a difference. Now is the time. Join us today.
The ACLU's mission is to fight civil liberties violations wherever and whenever they occur. Most of our clients are ordinary people who have experienced an injustice and have decided to fight back. The ACLU is also active in our national and state capitals, fighting to ensure that the Bill of Rights will always be more than a "parchment barrier" against government oppression and the tyranny of the majority. And the Monterey County Chapter of the ACLU is active at a local level to defend your civil liberties.
As a private, non-profit organization, the ACLU receives no government funding and never charges its clients for legal representation. Its existence depends entirely upon private donations, foundation grants, court-awarded legal fees from successful cases, and membership fees.