Tonight, we achieved what the conventional wisdom had deemed utterly unfathomable.
There are never any permanent victories in politics — and tonight’s is undoubtedly particularly fragile and must be cradled over days and weeks and months to come.
But the Senate just easily rejected attempts to extend expiring Patriot Act authorities.
Please click here to make sure they continue to reject such an extension.
No matter what comes next, tonight's
vote against the extension of Section 215 represents a victory for
democracy over totalitarianism; for open government over secret law; for
reasonability over hysteria.
Demand Progress and our members have been at at the forefront of
efforts to rein in bulk surveillance since just after our org’s
inception four years ago. We have helped organize more than one million
actions in opposition to mass spying — including encouraging and facilitating the activism of 250,000 people who support sunsetting Section 215 — over just the last ten days.
This most recent effort has been as part of a broad coalition of
organizations, including the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Color of
Change, CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Democrats.com, Fight for the Future,
Free Press, Left Action, The Nation, The Other 98%, RH Reality Check,
RootsAction, and Win Without War.
Now, without further action by the Congress, the authority
the NSA exploits to spy on most Americans’ phone calls will expire when
the calendar turns to June 1st.
It’s still technically possible for Congress to extend the expiring
provisions, but the opportunity grows narrower with each passing day and
with each extra person who speaks out against doing so.
Please click here to tell your lawmakers to continue to block the reauthorization of Section 215.
We’ll undoubtedly be asking even more of you over the next week or
so, as we approach the final hours before sunset. And after that, we'll
ask for even more help! To more deeply constrain other forms of
illegal and anti-democratic spying.
But for now, take the weekend to relish that you have been part of achieving what seemed impossible just weeks ago.
And then we'll press on.