Aug 302005
 
Authors: Brandon Lowrey

A local business owner has banned members of several liberal political activist groups from his store, stating the owner's sons were among U.S. forces in Iraq.

John Truesdell, owner of the Floor Store in the Palmer Design Center, declined to speak with the Collegian on Tuesday. An employee who answered the phone said the owner was "swamped" with business.

The sign, which is posted on the front door of the shop, states the flooring shop will not do business with members of groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International and Not in My Name.

Truesdell's potentially unprofitable move surprised Cathryn Hazouri, the executive director of the ACLU's Denver chapter, although she acknowledged many people harbor distaste for her group.

"What people misunderstand is that there is no more patriotic organization than the ACLU," Hazouri said. "We protect individuals from government violations of their civil liberties."

Hazouri said that furthermore, the ACLU has not taken an official stance on the military operation in Iraq, and "I certainly hope their soldier or Marine comes home in one piece, safely."

ACLU's biggest complaint, Hazouri said, has been America's wartime conduct.

"I never thought I would see the day where a nation as great as this one would have a memo come out of the attorney general's office saying torture is OK," Hazouri said.

Officials for other groups named in Truesdell's sign did not return phone calls and email messages left throughout the week.

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce does not have a policy restricting its members from refusing service to any group of people, said Ann Hutchison, the chamber's executive vice president. She refused to comment further.

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