It’s been nearly a decade since the PATRIOT Act became law in America. It’s time to put an end to the ongoing abuses under its draconian powers. Government surveillance has invaded the privacy of innocent Americans en masse. The FBI has used national security letters to seize mountains of private records while gagging the recipients. And the “material support” provision has dramatically eroded First Amendment rights—as demonstrated by raids last fall targeting peaceful activists across the Midwest. Having endured ten years of invasive and unconstitutional surveillance, we finally have a realistic opportunity to change this law—but only if members of Congress hear from concerned constituents across the country. From April 18 through May 1, your congressional representatives will leave DC for two weeks and return to your area. Don’t let them leave without hearing your voice. Thousands of grassroots activists called the White House on April 5 to demand that the President stick to his campaign promises and stop PATRIOT abuses. The White House’s phone lines went down, but we’re just getting started: it’s ultimately Congress that must decide the future of the PATRIOT Act, and for the first time since 2001, a critical mass of Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate have voted and spoken out against reauthorization. We who still care about the Constitution have a golden opportunity to shift the tide. Demand that your elected officials stand up for your constitutional rights. Tell them to:
In just a few days, members of Congress will leave DC and return to their districts for a two-week recess. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. You’ll have lots of support: we’ll give you talking points, tips on meeting with your elected officials, and help following up on your meetings. We can win this fight—but only if we all stand together. P.S. If meeting with your members of Congress isn’t right for you, you can still help. Organize rallies outside their offices. Write letters to the editor. Host a teach-in. Just get involved however you can. With so much at stake, this is no time to be silent.