Key Takeaways from November 2 Call

By: Harry Waisbren

Today’s organizing call went quite well, and it is clear that we are building momentum! The chat log transcript is available here, and we are looking to act on our conversation swiftly in anticipation of Wednesday’s 12:30 PM EST markup.

First off though, thank you to Amy, Shahid, Brandon, Jim, Rebecca, Soren, Korkie, Mark, and Jon for participating on the call (and to anyone following along online). Our group’s strident enthusiasm for the cause is contagious, and if you have yet to join in on one of these organizing calls I couldn’t advocate it enough!

Now, onto the key takeaways from this week:

  • We will be holding a live “tweetchat” during the Wednesday 12:30 PM EST markup. This will take place in the Patriot Act Action Hub, and you can participate both via Twitter or in the communal chat room (where tweets will be aggregated). Much more to come on this soon!
  • Jon Pincus will be leading online Patriot Act Social Network Activism Trainings, the first two of which are tomorrow 10 AM PST and 5 PM PST
  • The key legislative update is the upcoming HJC mark upon HR 3845 this Wednesday, 12:30 PM EST. Yet Reyes, Hastings, and Rupperburger have also introdced HR 3969 into HPSCI. It supposedly largely mirrors the SJC bill but may be weaker in some areas. In the Senate, in addition to the amended Leahy/Feinstein SJC bill (S. 1692), there’s also a Sessions/Lieberman/Bond (S. 2236) bill that would reauthorize with no additional safeguards. Brandon pointed out that the absence of library protections in this new senate bill (originally included by Leahy) could be a “canary in the coal mine” for its general adherence to civil liberties concerns.
  • We will be taking steps to improve the “inside/outside” nature of our effort by working dramatically more with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. They are helping individuals and organizations push for civil liberties on a local level, and Shahid explained on the call that they are already “standing by with resources”, including this Community Ordinances Tool Kit and this Model Legislation for Local Government.
  • We also are pushing forward on Amy’s initial idea of targeting individual stories pertaining to how people have been affected by the degredation of civil liberties. There are difficulties, however, considering the legal hurdles preventing those who have been spied upon from speaking out, but there were some extremely constructive ideas on the call for ways we can still bring this issue to a much more personal level.
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