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Restore the Phones: Tell Congress This Isn’t Over (and a look at future activities)

On July 4th, tens of thousands of you came out to protest unconstitutional surveillance methods. There are many more protests and other actions upcoming (a bit more on that below), but as we’ve said many times, the next step is to let those in Washington who noticed us know this isn’t over.

The way to do that is for all of us, including those who have already, to call our representatives and senators Friday to tell them it isn’t over, and to make sure each of our friends do the same. One number you can use is 1-STOP-323-NSA (1-786-732-3672) – make sure you have your zip code ready. Those of us on Facebook can join the event page and make sure those on our friends list take notice of it.

You may be thinking: Why make a day-specific campaign out of calling Congress when it’s been recommended all along? Concentrating calls from as many people as possible in one day will draw more attention from Congress and others than if those calls were more spread out. Additionally, it: will serve as a reminder to those who haven’t called Congress yet; makes it easier to spread the message on social media and other venues; and will help keep attention on Restore the Fourth and on the issue of unconstitutional surveillance while we prepare for future protests and other action.

Tips for Friday

  • Call using which will help you connect to the right office and provide talking points, and look up your local representative’s position on unconstituional surveillance beforehand. Or consider using this script.
  • Read up on the issues (e.g. in our FAQ and Press Releases and other sites’ guides) beforehand so you know what to say, and so that you can address friends that question you on why they should participate.
  • Considering sending a letter and email as well. There are some templates on our Resources Pages which you can use if necessary, and can edit at your own discretion.
  • On Friday afternoon ask your friends if they remembered to call. Many people will be willing to do it but will need a last-minute reminder.

And this isn’t all that’s being worked on.

Note on Restore the Fourth’s Future Activities

Our last blog post laid out some of the projects the national and local organizers are discussing, including the one described above, so let’s look at the others. While we put “political lobbying” and “legal action” as projects on our radar – and it’s conceivable we’ll find that to be a worthwhile project at some point – these aren’t things Restore the Fourth will be working on in the coming months. We aren’t prepared or funded for that level of action and it’s best left to organizations like the ACLU and EFF. What we need to put on the agenda are the kind of low-cost, grassroots efforts to fight unconstitutional surveillance that we’re best at, like those from the 4th. Here’s two that are most likely going to happen:

  • Another set of local protests on August 4th, a few of which are already being planned by local organizers, using the 4th of the month as the go-to date for protests. August 4th’s can also be a send off for…
  • A campaign to get Restore the Fourth participants and other critics of unconstitutional surveillance out to town hall meetings during Congress’s summer recess. From August 5th to September 6th, members of Congress will be back home listening to constituents with the media present, and if we want to make it really clear this isn’t over, we need to make unconstitutional surveillance the center of that discussion and the main thing on lawmakers’ mind when they go back to D.C.

We hope you’ll participate in both and that you’ll remember to call Congress on Friday to tell them unconstitutional surveillance is unacceptable and that this isn’t over!

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