• Star-studded telethon to support US civil rights group

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    NEW YORK: Tom Hanks and other stars will lead a Facebook “telethon” this month to raise funds for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has become a symbol of resistance to President Donald Trump.

    The event, to be filmed on March 31 in New York and live-streamed on the social media site, is also set to feature Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler, organizers said in a release Tuesday.

    Running from 7.00 pm (2300 GMT), it revives the tradition of the telethon — a televised event that lasts hours or even days in support of a charitable cause.

    Since Trump’s election in November, the 97-year-old ACLU has become a pillar of resistance to the new administration and a leading defender of fundamental rights across the country.

    The organization says it has tripled its membership since the vote to 1.2 million.

    It is particularly active on legal matters, in which its lawyers assist victims of Trump’s immigration policy.

    “Our work in the courts is essential right now to hold off the worst of the abuses,” said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero.

    “By supporting our work through this telethon, we can fight even harder to defend the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.”

    Entitled “Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU,” the telethon is being produced by theater production company Friend of a Friend in collaboration with news aggregator The Huffington Post, comedy website Funny or Die and production company Maggie Vision. AFP

    AFP/CC

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