It’s Valentine’s Day (aka 25 Bahman), and people all over the world are fighting for their civil liberties

Two and a half years after I wrote It’s the Fourth of July and we’re fighting for our civil liberties, it’s another activism-filled holiday. Today’s House vote extending the Patriot Act until December went as expected, passing 275-144.   Now the action shifts to the Senate; EFF has more.   Nothing to see here, move along, move along …

Or maybe not.  27 Republicans bucked their leadership and stood up for the Constitution.  Walter Jones of North Carolina joined Tom McClintock of California in apologizing for their past support of the Patriot Act.  Jason Chaffetz of Utah and others who voted for HR 514 spoke of the importance of having hearings and looking to amend the process.  At the very least, it’ll be hard for the Obama Administration and their Congressional allies to get the multi-year extension they want.  With Ron Paul once again rocking CPAC and contemplating another presidential run, we might well see some fireworks later this year.  Stay tuned.

feb14Meanwhile in the Middle East, the 25 Bahman protests in Iran followed revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.  There are estimates of tens to hundreds of thousands of people in Tehran, and big protests in Shiraz and Esfehan.  A re-energized Sea of Green? With the “Days of Rage” in Bahrain, and protestors battling demonstrations in Yemen, there’s a sense that something’s in the air …

I spent the with my Facebook and Twitter avatars showing support for the protesters in Iran, glued to Twazzup, splitting time between the #25Bahman and #iranelection and  the Patriot Act debate.  There were familiar names everywhere, my Get FISA Right friends like Sally, Patrick, Korkie, Mark, Jim and Julian … our allies from BORDC and EFF like Shahid, Rainey, Chip, and Kevin … and from the #iranelection hashtag: @IranRiggedElection, @iran88, Josh Shahryar, @oxfordgirl, @lissnup, and perhaps even the unexpected return of @persiankiwi. Not to sound like a broken record or anything, but social networks really can change the world.

The fight will resume tomorrow, all over the world.  Tonight, though, I’ll be hanging out with the woman I love celebrating Valentine’s Day.  How cool is that?