http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,55838,00.html The American Civil Liberties Union rolled out a national campaign Wednesday to challenge government anti-terror policies that the group deems undemocratic. Dubbed Keep America Safe and Free, the multimillion-dollar effort was announced by the ACLU at a Washington press conference that highlighted accounts from several peace activists who claimed they'd been singled out by authorities because of their political views. "The Bush administration has presented Americans with a false dichotomy that we must choose between being safe or free," said ACLU national spokeswoman Emily Whitfield. "We're saying there doesn't have to be a choice. We can stay safe and free at the same time." The ACLU has filed 24 lawsuits for civil liberties violations since the Sept. 11 attacks, including several for airline passengers who claim they were kicked off flights or singled out for questioning because of their dark skin. The group will air television spots featuring a close-up of a hand cutting up and rewriting the U.S. Constitution as a voiceover charges Attorney General John Ashcroft with violating the First and Fourth amendments, which guarantee free speech and guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The ACLU is also actively looking for people who feel they have been "victimized" by the expanded government powers granted by the Patriot Act or Operation TIPS, which encourages the public to report their neighbors' suspicious behavior to the FBI. (The site states that more than 200,000 tips have been filed since Sept. 11.) Several people have already stepped forward alleging government harassment, including: A.J. Brown, a 20-year-old antiwar activist and computer major at Durham Technical Community College in North Carolina. Brown was questioned by the Secret Service after an anonymous tipster called the agency to denounce an anti-Bush poster hanging in her apartment. The poster depicts Bush holding a length of rope over a backdrop of figures hanging by their necks and criticizes the number of death row inmates who were executed during Bush's tenure as Texas governor. Brown was getting ready for a Friday night date when two agents from the Raleigh office and a local police investigator showed up at her doorstep, saying they'd received a report that she had "anti-American" material in her apartment. They had no warrant, so she refused to grant them entry, but opened the door wide enough to let them view the poster, she said. For 45 minutes, they tried to convince her to let them into her apartment, to check if she had any maps of Afghanistan or pro-Taliban material, she said. "I kept saying no," Brown said. "Finally, I was like, 'I think the Taliban are assholes,' and they left a little later. At first I thought they were rounding up activists and incarcerating them; I was scared. After they'd gone, I didn't know whether to scream or laugh my head off." Brown, who refused to give her complete name out of fear of reprisals for her anti-Bush views, will be featured in some of the ACLU commercials. Andrew Mandell, a member of Voices in the Wilderness, a group that protests U.S. sanctions against Iraq. Mandell was questioned by Chicago police and a postal inspector after refusing to use stamps featuring the American flag on a newsletter going out to 4,000 of the group's supporters. "Because of the work we do, we felt some people might be offended by the stamp, so we asked for any stamp but the American flag stamp," said Mandell. The postal worker asked Mandell and a colleague to wait while she got the stamps, then went into a back room to phone the police. Two cops arrived, asked Mandell what he had against the flag, and left after he explained the group's position. The postal worker told Mandell to return for his stamps the next day. When he did, a postal inspector took him into a back room to ask about the group's activities and funding. Additionally, the inspector requested to inspect the mass mailing before it was sent; Mandell acquiesced. "It felt like he had a lot of power to make my life miserable," Mandell said. "I didn't like the potential of the situation." Sarah Backus, the co-coordinator of the Wisconsin chapter of the School of the Americas Watch, a group that accuses the Georgia military school of training Latin American soldiers to commit human rights violations. The group was in the Milwaukee airport on its way to lobby Congress to shut the school down when Midwest Express informed 20 of the 37 members that they were on a "no fly" list and could not board their plane, Backus said. The group -- whose members range from high school students to a nun -- was pulled aside and questioned by a group of sheriff's deputies. The FAA couldn't be reached for instructions on how to handle the situation before the flight, and the airline put the group up at a hotel. They flew out the next morning without incident. Backus said the group was never told why certain members were flagged, although one deputy theorized that it was because they were "protesting America" and another deputy mused that member Jacob Laden's last name was a lot like Osama bin Laden's. "It was like keystone cops," said Backus. "But at the same time it all felt covert and frightening."