Hi! This is Laura and Ashley, from Wesleyan University, and we are lucky enough to stay in a house with women in pink for a week! We love them.
Today we went to visit some of the Democratic Senators who voted for FISA last time it was extended. FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the extension that will be voted on by the Senate this week will allow for unwarranted wiretapping. We went with Gael and Des, who had to leave early, and James, Hannah, Steve, Lorena, and Julia to visit Senators Obama, Nelson, McCaskill, Reid, Feingold, Mikulski, Whitehouse and Conrad. We tried to meet with Legislative staffers and anyone who advised the Senators on FISA, and delivered copies of the Constitution in which Amendment IV was highlighted and bookmarked in pink, with pink papers stating our beliefs about FISA. They said, “Respect our Civil Liberties! CodePink DENOUNCES the Democrats’ caving on FISA! NO retroactive immunity for the CRIME of Warrantless Wiretapping. NO unreasonable Emergency Surveillance. Your vote for FISA betrays our Constitution.” When we gave Nelson’s staffer the Constitution, Gael joked, “We get these from your office,” and he replied, absorbing the pink beautification, “As a matter of fact, I do have a copy of one of those, but it’s not this pretty.” Our visit to Senator Conrad’s office was particularly rewarding: his top legislative aide had a meeting with us in a conference room and answered some of our questions. He insisted that since the Democrats don’t have a real majority in the Senate (Lieberman isn’t a Democrat), they can’t do much.
After talking to the Senators, we went to visit Rep. Ackerman, who is sponsoring a resolution to sanction Iran. The language he uses, however, could be construed as a military blockade, which would be an act of war. We expressed our strong disapproval of war in Iran and our apprehension about the unclear language. Only his secretary was willing to talk to us, but hopefully we’ll find a time to talk to more important people in his office.
We’re hoping for a great rest of the week! We’re looking forward to ending the war, telling more senators not to vote for FISA, and getting Gael to quit smoking.