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Students deliver subpoenas to Ashcroft

Activists representing students at more than 300 college campuses delivered more than 1,000 subpoenas to Attorney General John Ashcroft Wednesday, calling for more transparency in law enforcement.

The delivery was part of the “First Monday” campaign, alleging the erosion of civil liberties since September 11.

“We are very concerned about the right to privacy and the loss of our civil liberties,” said Stefanie Thomas, a senior at the University of Maryland who helped organize students for the cause. “Students are concerned and we are trying to do something about it.”

The group delivered the subpoenas, official requests for information, in a red wagon.

The group was barred from entering the Justice Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue but did meet with a Justice Department spokesman, who accepted the subpoenas for the attorney general.

“The attorney general has a record of defending civil liberties,” spokesman Jorge Martinez said. “We welcome the opinions and voices of these students.”

“First Monday” has been an annual campus-based event focusing on social justice, drawing its name from the first meeting of the Supreme Court on the first Monday in October.

Thomas said she was disappointed but “not surprised” that Ashcroft did not accept the subpoenas in person.

“I am not surprised the voices of us little people were not heard,” she said.

-Alex Kingsbury

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