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The End of America? Habeas Corpus for Men?

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October 21, 2008

As you may recall, in February, the ACLU was there on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. This past weekend, there we were again in the Hamptons. Friday, October 17th, the ACLU, Rights / Camera / Action, and IndiePix co-hosted the premiere of “The End of America,” a new documentary from award-winning filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

“The End of America” follows Naomi Wolf, author of the bestselling book by the same title, as she discusses America’s dangerous slide towards a society of fear and surveillance, and chronicles her work to raise awareness about the threats to democracy in the U.S. when the rule of law is not upheld. The film traces the ten steps that have historically led to the closing of open societies in other nations, including secret prisons where torture takes place, surveillance of ordinary citizens, and arbitrary detention and release of citizens.

While it only took us about 2 ½ hours to drive out, the film got caught in some serious traffic on the LIE. To kill time while the audience of 300 waited patiently for the movie to arrive, we threw together an impromptu conversation on stage with Naomi, Alec Baldwin, and our very own Jameel Jaffer. While most of the talk was about what we can all do to restore our America and hold our government accountable, there were a few lighthearted moments as well.

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You’ll be grateful to know Alec’s agent didn’t call and, while there was no cologne in the gift bag, it’s not a bad idea with the holidays coming up…We, along with new signatories to the I’m a Constitution Voter pledge including Alec Baldwin, Naomi Wolf, Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, actress and comedienne Rachel Dratch, and filmmaker Doug Liman, continued to celebrate the film and the power each of us has – ACLU members and Hamptons film audiences alike – to remind our candidates, our elected officials, the media, and each other that the Constitution cannot be ignored, throughout the weekend.

You can watch “The End of America” for free, in its entirety, with a special introduction by ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, starting today 10/21 on SnagFilms. Rights / Camera / Action is thrilled to invite you to this online premiere (be sure to invite your friends) and will continue to host virtual screenings on Snag so you can catch all of the civil liberties documentaries not playing at a theater near you. is a website where you can watch full-length documentary films for free, “snag” them, and put them anywhere on the web. With a rapidly growing library, you’ll find films that resonate with your and ACLU shared interests. “The End of America” player on Snag will also direct viewers to the ACLU’s Constitution Voter pledge. You can find the link on the Snag site and, of course, directly at Check back for future RCA screenings on Snag at soon.

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