Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Congress is pulling a fast one

I received the following from Demand Progress:

Some annoying news: As was widely reported last Friday, all indications were that the House Judiciary Committee would delay its vote on SOPA for a few weeks. Now it looks like they might vote this week, if Congress stays in session:

PCMAG: "SOPA vote might happen this week after all"

ACTIVIST POST: "Congress tries to pull a fast one"

You've all been amazing as we've worked to spread word about SOPA, convinced more and more lawmakers to oppose it, and dragged out the hearing for a week -- that's pretty much unheard of.

But we need to ask you to pick up the phone once more:

Will you call Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor and ask them to reign in Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith?

Speaker John Boehner: (202) 225-6205 (Email Contact)

Majority Leader Eric Cantor: (202) 225-2815 (Email Contact)

Please be polite, but firm. You can work off of this script:

I'm calling because Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith is pushing the Stop Online Piracy Act even though it will kill jobs, undermine cybersecurity, stifle free speech, and give comfort to totalitarian regimes that want to censor the Internet. And they're doing it all to prop up a few Hollywood bigwigs.

His hearings are turning into a circus that's embarrassing for our country and for the House of Representatives. Please ask him to back down and hold real hearings on this legislation before rushing it through his committee.

These powerful leaders control what will be voted on by the full House, and we need to put them on notice.

And you can use these links to ask your friends to join the effort and email and call their lawmakers about the Internet censorship bills, or just ask them to visit StopCensorship.org.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and when needed activism. We'll we need the activism part right now so call and/or send email to the above to rein in Lamar Smith and his evil quest to censor the net.


Received the following from Damand Progress:

That was close -- after threatening to hold a vote this week, the House Judiciary Committee just cancelled tomorrow's hearing on SOPA!

WASHINGTON POST: The House Judiciary Committee confirmed Tuesday that it will delay continuing debate on the Stop Online Piracy Act until after Congress returns from its winter recess.

In January of one year ago it looked like Internet censorship legislation could pass in a matter of months. But then Demand Progress members stepped in: We've pushed the legislation back a full year, and now it's on the ropes.

Demand Progress is doing everything in our power to make sure that our members' voices are heard in the halls of power.

We've organized press conferences on Capitol Hill, hosted policy briefings. We've delivered countless petitions to Congress, and met with the White House as they consider whether to oppose SOPA and its Senate cousin, the PROTECT IP Act.

We've repeatedly been slammed by the Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Assocaition of America, and other censorship proponents -- proving the importance of our work and the righteousness of our cause.

Most importantly, we've driven hundreds of thousands of constituent contacts to Congress -- And helped lead an unprecedented coalition of activist groups, websites, and tech firms which together have helped more than 3 million people send anti-censorship emails and make anti-censorship phone calls to Congress and the White House.

But the fight isn't over yet: The Senate is still threatening to hold a vote in January, and we need to make sure we're in a position to keep pushing back. We've proved that our voices make a real difference, but we can't afford to let up one bit.

Thanks so so much,

The Demand Progress team

PS: We know we've been sending a ton of emails over the last few weeks -- we promise it'll calm down a bit over the next couple of weeks, now that the most immediate threat is behind us.

No problem because as I have said before the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I'd rather do this than have someone else decide what I can and cannot view or listen too. Maybe as a child I had others make my decisions for me but as an adult I'll be damned if I'll let that happen.

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