From June 3, 2004 through June 25, 2004, the American Civil Liberties Union will air thirty-second television ads on cable television in the Cleveland, Columbus, Lima, Youngstown and Zanesville markets featuring schoolchildren who question the government’s restrictions of basic freedoms in the name of national security.

The advertisements focus on provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and other government policies that go beyond fighting terrorism and unnecessarily suppress basic constitutional rights.

“Many parts of the USA PATRIOT Act are unnecessary and do not aid in protecting us from terrorism,” said Ohio ACLU Executive Director, Christine Link. “Elected officials need to know that Americans, whether conservative or liberal, care about maintaining safety AND freedom. In times of crisis government power expands and uses the crisis to limit the rights of citizens,” Link said.

The ads show students in a class room discussing the Bill of Rights and asking about the new law “that allows government agents to secretly search your house and not even tell you.” Other students ask about other rights that are reduced or suppressed under the USA PATRIOT ACT.

The ads end with the ACLU log and the tagline, “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself.”