Wednesday evening organizing update

September 30, 2009

Tomorrow’s showtime.  The hearing starts at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. The buzz on Twitter this afternoon was encouraging, with a lot of great tweeting going on about American Library Association, EFF, CREDO Action’s alerts — and ours, too.  The Facebook group continues to grow, although somewhat more slowly than Twitter; and we’re close to making ‘popular’ on digg.*   There’s definitely a lot of energy around the issue.  Will we be able to tap into it?

One big question is how much pickup we get overnight and early in the morning from bloggers.  The Wilshire and Washington folks have something on the Huffington Post; Jason Rosenbaum just posted on The Seminal; will others follow their lead?   Our Calling all bloggers post has simple talking points … if you know any bloggers, please pass it along to them.

One way or another, we’ll get together tomorrow during the hearing for activism during the hearing.   We’ll keep updated with the top-priority actions as we target specific Senators on the phone, Twitter, and Facebook.   And of course we’ll also be sharing them via Twitter.

Twitter activism is the fastest of any of the social networks, and so that’ll be where a lot of the action is tomorrow.  If you’re not a member already, please consider joining — it’s easy to sign up, and our If you’re new to Twitter page has getting-started information.   An extra 20 or 30 people will makes a big difference.

Other than that, tonight’s the night to get the word out.  Please pass the link to Jason’s post or my post on Pam’s House Blend.  Retweet early and often.  Share links on Facebook.

And get ready for tomorrow; with luck, it could be pretty wild!


* Speaking of which, if you haven’t dugg yet, please do.  If you’re not a member, it’s easy to sign up.

Wthashtag’s stats for the #patriotact tag.
Ready to go viral?

Calling all bloggers: our best chance to fix the PATRIOT Act and FISA!

September 30, 2009

Update: about 5 minutes after I made this post, Jason Rosenbaum’s Tomorrow, a chance to fix FISA and the PATRIOT Act went up on The Seminal.  More like that, please!

Last summer Get FISA Right’s growth on was fuelled by the blogosphere. The big blogs of the progressive blogosphere sparked things, and the the technology-in-politics blogs like TechPresident, Clickocracy, Wired, Slashdot started covering the activism story.   Since then, there successful blog-fuelled social network activism campaigns propelled by feminist, LGBTQ, migrant rights blogs.

So in the last-minute push to the Senate Judiciary Committee markup, it would be great to get support from bloggers of all stripes.  We realize it’s incredibly short notice and there’s a lot going on.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy post — something short and to the point is enough to make a difference.

If you get a chance between now and lunchtime on Thursday, please try to something up with three key messages for your readers:

  • Now is the best chance yet to fix the PATRIOT Act and reform FISA
  • Call and email their Senators
  • Please join us online Thursday for activism and discussion during the hearing:

We’ve got lots more resources — links, embed code for videos and petitions — on our wiki at   Or heck, just copy the three bullet points above as an action alert and include the “Stop spying on Americans” image above .  One way or another, please try to find a way to help.

And if you do post about it, please drop a comment in this thread so we can retweet it!



PATRIOT Act: Please join us for discussion and activism during Thursday’s hearing!

September 30, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s markup of the PATRIOT Act tomorrow today is a prime opportunity for activism.  The hearing’s webcast, so we’ll be able to follow along.  We can share links with each other via email, Facebook, and Twitter … and we can discuss and coordinate action.

Please join us!

We’ll be keeping up-to-date with the latest priorities and discussions.  If you RSVP on Facebook or Anyvite, we’ll update you tomorrow morning with the latest updates.

See you there!


Should we turn off email list moderation during the hearing tomorrow?

September 30, 2009

The hearing tomorrow seems like a great time to have free-flowing discussion on email as well as other places.  Usually we moderate the list to keep from overwhelming people with email.  Should we turn off moderation?

Thoughts?  Please vote yes/no and (if you feel like it) share your thinking in the comments.

Either way, if you’re interested in joining us during the hearings tomorrow, please RSVP on Facebook or Anyvite.

Wednesday Round Up Post

September 30, 2009

Below you’ll find a round up of Patriot Act and FISA reform news:

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to check (and digg) Jon’s post on Pam’s House Blend.

The newly released Coalition Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Urging Adoption of JUSTICE Act Amendments During Markup of Senator Leahy’s Patriot Act Reauthorization Bill.

There are various “side by side” comparisons of the bills from Marcy Wheeler of, Julian Sanchez of the CATO Institute, and the CDT.

The American Library Association sent out an action alert.

Ed Brayton from Science Blogs argues for the necessity to roll back the Patriot Act.


A discussion with Cardin’s staff …

September 30, 2009

Mark Dorlester posted this to our Organizing for America list … interesting, so I wanted to share it more broadly  — jon

Being a long-time Maryland activist, I have had interactions with Sen Ben Cardin (D-MD), co-sponsor of the Leahy Patriot Act Renewal bill to undergo markup tomorrow (Oct 1).  I first met him more than 30 years ago.

In pressing his staff for Cardin to support incorporate the Feingold JUSTICE Act provisions into the Leahy-Cardin bill, I emphasized that, contrary to Bush and Obama assertions, the Constitutional oath for President (Article 2, Section 1, paragraph 8) says nothing about keeping the people safe.  It requires the President to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution), and hence urging a Senator to vote in Congress to violate the Constitution in the name of allegedly protecting the people is … unconstitutional.

I specifically mentioned the assertions of certain White House and DOJ staff who are pressing, e.g., Dianne Feinstein of the Judiciary Committee, to block JUSTICE Act provisions.

I got a rather good reception.  We’ll see tomorrow.


Our best chance yet to fix the PATRIOT Act and FISA!

September 30, 2009

stop spying on americans!My post Our best chance yet to fix the PATRIOT Act and FISA! is going to hit Pam’s House Blend front page later this morning.  Please check it out!

Here’s the “how you can help” section:

Wednesday morning retweeting help

September 30, 2009

As always, any assistance is appreciated!

Tomorrow’s our best chance to fix the #PatriotAct and FISA. Help Support the Justice Act Pls RT

@SenArlenSpecter Support the JUSTICE Act! Fix the #patriotact and FISA (please RT)

A preliminary assessment of PATRIOT Act reform bills (via @normative)

RT @getfisaright: retweeting help, please: #patriotact #privacy

Thanks much,


Bloggers call: summary and next steps

September 29, 2009

Another excellent call!   Thanks to Cynthia from Momocrats; Mandy from ACLU; Marcy and Bill rom Emptywheel; Matt from CREDO; Jim Babka from Downsize dc; Kevin from EFF; Julian from Cato; James Cook; and Manny, Korkie, Mark, Sally, and Harry from Get FISA Right.  Detailed notes at thanks to Harry’s transcription magic.  Here’s the highlights.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee markup on Thursday is our best chance yet for significant reform to the PATRIOT Act and FISA.  Conversely, if a weak bill comes out of the SJC, the path forward in the Senate is much more difficult.  So over the next 48 hours, we need to put pressure on Senators Whitehouse, Specter, Schumer, and all the other SJC Dems.
  • The “ask” continues to be “support the JUSTICE act”: add provisions to the Leahy Bill on Thursday’s markup, and co-sponsor S. 1682.

Read the rest of this entry »

A few RTs, please

September 29, 2009

If you’re on Twitter, and don’t mind making a tweet or two over the next few hours, it’d be peachy if you could retweet one or more of the following:

On PATRIOTS and JUSTICE: What we don’t know (via @emptywheel @getfisaright) #patriotact

RT @getfisaright Snap poll: will you have time to help bring justice to the #patriotact?

RT @getfisaright Following the PATRIOT Act debates via @twazzup: — pls RT #patriotact #p2