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Wednesday, December 15,2010

Happy Bill of Rights Day

The Lansing ACLU chapter and Everybody Reads bookstore is hosting an event tonight to celebrate the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, Dec. 15 — Do you have a favorite constitutional amendment in the Bill of Rights? Need a soapbox to share your thoughts on issues like freedom of speech, right to bear arms and unlawful search and seizure?

If so, then join the Lansing chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other civil rights enthusiasts tonight from 7 to 9 at Everybody Reads Books and Stuff, 2019 E. Michigan Ave.

The two-hour event is meant for community members to read their favorite amendment, followed by discussion of how it relates to current events, Everybody Reads owner Scott Harris said.

“We let them read their amendment, talk about what it says and then deconstruct it,” Harris said.

This is the third annual Bill of Rights Day event held at Everybody Reads, Harris added. Twelve people attended in 2008 and 15 attended last year. Strong feedback has him estimating about 25 people attending this year.

This year, Harris is looking forward to discussion on the Fourth Amendment — protection from unreasonable search and seizure — because of the new airport security screenings. As a bookstore owner, Harris is also “a big fan” the First Amendment, he said.

“We spend a lot of time talking about the Second Amendment (right to bear arms) as well,” he said.

If you think the event is a serious, heavy-hearted rally against government intrusion, think again.

“It’s a lot more fun than it sounds,” he said laughing. “But it’s so important to have these discussions.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Dec. 15 as Bill of Rights Day in 1941 as a 150-year anniversary commemoration of its ratification.

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