The Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition is proud to endorse a major “Restore The Fourth” rally for our Fourth Amendment rights — one that will happen, appropriately enough, on July 4th.
- Where: McPherson Square, downtown DC (map, Metro)
- When: July 4th, noon-2pm
- Speakers: NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, BORDC’s Shahid Buttar, Defending Dissent’s Sue Udry, Libertarian Party president Carla Howell, Free Press CEO Craig Aaron, Demand Progress’ Charlie Fuhrman, and many more.
The rally was triggered, of course, by the ongoing surveillance revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. For an overview of those revelations, visit The Guardian’s site “The NSA Files” — a growing collection of articles by Glenn Greenwald, Spencer Ackerman, and others. For a careful summary of the disturbing truths we’re learning about NSA surveillance, see Everything you wanted to Know About NSA Surveillance *but were afraid to ask, by Jonathan Stray. Highlights — or lowlights, if you will:
- “…documents show that individual intelligence analysts make the decision to look at previously collected bulk information. “
- “this level of domestic surveillance wasn’t always legal, and the NSA has been found to violate legal standards on more than one occasion.”
- “Even without the content of all your conversations and text messages, so-called “metadata” can reveal a tremendous amount about you. If they have your metadata, the NSA would have a record of your entire address book, or at least every person you’ve called in the last several years.”
The problem is compounded by tenuous-to-nonexistent oversight by Congress, and successive administrations determined to conduct secret surveillance under secret laws and with the benefit of a rubber-stamp, tame judicial system.
The DC “Restore The Fourth” rally is one of dozens across the country organized by local branches of the new activist group “Restore The Fourth,” which conducts much of its work online at reddit.com and within smaller, locally-based “subreddits.” To find out how to help with the rally, visit http://www.reddit.com/r/restorethe4thdc.
The DC rally is endorsed by Demand Progress, Washington Peace Center, Bill of Rights Defense Committe, Defending Dissent, and Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition. MCCRC led the way two weeks ago with a press conference and rally on Congress’s doorstep, and we’re delighted and honored to be a part of the planning process for this rally as well. With journalists like Dana Milbank asking, in effect, “where’s the outrage?“, here’s another opportunity to show them it’s all around them, even here in Washington, DC.