It’s Goa Gil’s birthday … and we’re *still* fighting for our civil liberties!


… keep your eyes open for a river, once you pass the river, the driveway will be the first right after the river. There is a Scarecrow on the mailbox at the edge of the driveway. Follow the driveway to your destiny 🙂

— from the direction to Goa Gil’s birthday party

Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: I’m in the midst of a social network activism campaign — and looking forward to a psytrance party.

Can Skittles Fix the Patriot Act and FISA? describes Get FISA Right’s activism.    The situation’s similar to where we were in summer 2008, when I wrote It’s the fourth of July … and we’re fighting for our civil liberties the day after Barack Obama responded to our open letter: there’s a big vote coming up on Thursday, and time is short.

Most Americans hate the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping, and the latest revelations that “sneak-and-peak” authority is primarily being used in drug and firearms cases adds more fuel to the fire.  But traditional media isn’t covering the story, and political bloggers are so focused on health care reform that thus far they’ve been sitting this one out.

Social network activism is the one thing that hasn’t been tried yet.  A huge outcry on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace could get the issue in the media — and help politicians realize that despite the FBI’s pressure most voters want them to support privacy and the rule of law.  Wish us luck.  Or better yet, join us Tuesday evening on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s an emotional time for me because this is my activism swan song, at least for a while.  This is the seventh time since Stop REAL ID Now!  in 2006 that I’ve put my life on hold for civil liberties.  Enough’s enough.

My next stage is focusing on Qworky, a startup aiming to revolutionize the way people work together.  The key themes from activism and the earlier Ad Astra work I was doing at Microsoft remain — prioritizing diversity, applying the principles of social media — but the vehicle’s very different.  With only so many hours in the day, it’s time to move on.

Gil’s birthday party’s a perfect transition. After a good psytrance party, I come away feeling like my mind’s been cleansed.  Once I catch up on my sleep, I’ll be ready to move forward.  Happy birthday, Gil.  Thanks for inviting us to the party!

As for what I’ll be thinking about under the stars listening to Gil’s set …  I summed it up remarkably well a year ago in Hallowe’en pre-election version (in the midst of the Voter Suppression Wiki and Twitter Vote Report social network activism campaigns):

Who knows what Tuesday will bring.  Right now, it’s infintite possibilities … and the sense that a change is coming.


Gil reconnecting the tribes at Laytonville, CA, May 2009