Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 to Democracy Now!, we'll receive $20. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Protest Planned Against Ashcroft's NYC Visit as Part of Nationwide Tour to Defend Patriot Act

StorySeptember 09, 2003
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Attorney General John Ashcroft attends a closed meeting with law enforcement officials to defend the Patriot Act against mounting claims that it undermines civil liberties. We host a debate between the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Attorney General John Ashcroft will arrive in New York City today to attend a closed meeting with law enforcement officials to build support for the controversial USA Patriot Act.

The visit is part of Ashcroft’s 16-city tour to defend the Patriot Act against mounting claims that it undermines civil liberties. The invitation-only sessions are closed to the public and are attended only by government employees and selected members of the press.

Protesters have shadowed Ashcroft’s appearance at every stop denouncing him and the law he helped create.

Passed 45 days after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Patriot Act is a massive overhaul of government security procedures. Among other things, the 340-page law grants federal investigators authority to seek roving wiretaps for people and to conduct property searches and delay notifying the owner.

It also allows the detention of foreigners suspected of terrorism for up to seven days without being charged and expanded the definitions of terrorism.

Since then the Patriot Act has come under intense criticism.

In July the House voted 309 to 118 to overturn key provisions the Act.

Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have filed lawsuits seeking disclosure of how the law is being applied. The suits also challenge provisions that permit "sneak-and-peek" searches and secret scrutiny of people’s library records by the FBI.

The fight isn’t just in Washington or the courts.

More than 150 communities across the country and three states have issued symbolic resolutions opposing the Patriot Act.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation