Monday, September 15, 2008

ACTION ALERT - Free Speech

ACTION ALERT !! Free Speech Protection Act

Earlier this year New York passed legislation protecting authors from what has become known as “libel terrorism,” lawsuits claiming defamation filed in foreign jurisdictions and intended to intimidate authors and publishers. Since then, legislation modeled after New York’s bill, entitled the Free Speech Protection Act, was introduced with bi-partisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate.

We received word on Friday that Senators Specter and Schumer have filed the Free Speech Protection Act, with minor changes, as an amendment for consideration to be included in the Senate Defense Authorization bill (S. 3001).

The decision to allow amendments like this to be voted on for inclusion in the bill is made by the "managers" of the bill (Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and for the GOP John Warner in Senator John McCain's absence). Senator Levin has to agree to allow a vote on our amendment. Levin, Warner and other Senate leaders are negotiating over which amendments (if any) will be allowed for consideration, and so far, only amendments directly related to the defense bill have been considered and voted on.

It is therefore URGENT that Senators Levin, Warner, and other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hear from the grassroots right away. We need you to contact these members and urge them to include the Free Speech Protection Act as an amendment to the Senate Defense Authorization bill, S.3001. Tell them protecting American authors who write about terrorism is crucial to our national security and the war on terrorism.
Following is a link to a listing of the members of this committee.

Armed Services Senate Committee

* Please email, fax or phone Senators Levin and Warner and respectfully ask them to include this vital legislation as an amendment.

* If any of these Senators is YOUR Senator, it is especially important for you to make contact with them as soon as possible, preferably by phone.

Getting this legislation passed will help ensure that American authors who have the courage to write about terrorism will not be subject to intimidation lawsuits filed in foreign jurisdictions. Protecting our precious free speech rights is a crucial front in the war on terrorism.

So please, take action as soon as you can!

Thank you.

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