McPherson Square was the setting for a very successful Independence Day rally for the 4th Amendment yesterday, with hundreds on hand to listen and cheer as speaker after speaker urged them to “Restore The Fourth!”
RestoreTheFourth/DC’s rally organizer Andrea O’Neill led off, followed by assisting coordinator Louise Brooks, who introduced the remaining speakers.
(For a complete listing and individual video links, see the end of this post. We will be providing a complete playlist of the day’s speakers shortly; when possible, we’ll provide or link to prepared text as well.)
Amie Stepanovich — director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) Domestic Surveillance Project — led off with important news: EPIC will be filing a motion before the Supreme Court on Monday asking that court to vacate the recently revealed April 25 FISC order requiring Verizon to turn over all phone records through July 19, 2013 to the NSA.
MCCRC’s Thomas Nephew followed, starting with an “open mike” recital of the Fourth Amendment that was followed by cheers from the crowd. From his remarks:
Let’s help people realize privacy must not be a thing of the past — that it’s another word for freedom itself: the freedom to think one’s own thoughts, the freedom to go one’s own way , the freedom to choose one’s friends and call or email them…without every single one of those choices at risk of being stored in some metadatabase for future evaluation by somebody at the NSA. That’s the opposite of reasonable, the opposite of particular, the opposite of justified. It’s the opposite of the Fourth Amendment.
Sue Udry (Defending Dissent, MCCRC) gave a much praised speech, noting that recent events prove the federal government will prosecute “. . . not for torturing, not for illegal spying, not for killing civilians; no, they will throw you under the bus, they will persecute you relentlessly, for revealing the criminal conduct of our government.”
Meanwhile, we circulated in the crowd and got a few reactions to the event and to the NSA surveillance revelations that triggered it:
Congratulations to Andrea O’Neill, Louise Brooks, and everyone associated with the “Restore The Fourth” DC rally — it was a huge success!
- Andrea O’Neill, DC Restore the Fourth (video)
- Amie Stepanovich, EPIC (video)
- Thomas Nephew, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition (video, text)
- Shahid Buttar, Executive Director, Bill of Rights Defense Commitee (video)
- Sue Udry, Executive Director, Defending Dissent (video)
- Carla Howell, National Libertarian Party (video)
- Seema Sadanandan, ACLU (video)
- Ryan Radia, CEI (video, text)
- Medea Benjamin, Code Pink (video)
- Mudusar Raza, CAIR-Maryland (MCCRC video, CAIR video)
- — Statement: Sen. Rand Paul (KY), read by Louise Brooks (video, Rt4th video, text)
- — Statement: Former Rep. Dennis J Kucinich (OH), read by Nathan White (video, text)
- — Statement: Rep. Alan Grayson (FL), read by Louise Brooks (video, text)
- Anthony Tellez, LP for VA House of Delegates in the 53rd district (video)
- Eric Spencer, student at Northwestern (video, text)
- Robert McCaw, CAIR (video; CAIR video)
- Craig Aaron , President, CEO Free Press (video, text)
- Thomas Drake, former NSA senior exec and whistleblower (video)
- Charlie Furman, Demand Progress (video)
- Scott Somerville, Assistant Director, Restore the Fourth (video)
- Julian Sanchez, Cato Institute (video, text)
- — Statement: Governor Gary Johnson (AZ), read by Louise Brooks (video, text)
- Sanho Tree, Institute for Policy Studies (video)
- Andrea O’Neil, DC Restore the Fourth Director (video)
- US activists rally against spying program Nine News (Australia)
- Scenes from a Restore the 4th rally against surveillance (Baltimore Sun)
- Here’s who spent their Fourth of July protesting the NSA (Washington Post)
- Protests around the country challenge NSA on Independence Day (People’s Blog, Occuworld)
- BREAKING: Privacy Advocates To File Supreme Court Petition Challenging NSA Surveillance Program (ThinkProgress)
- Restore the Fourth DC (CorrenteWire)
- Restore The 4th Rally in D.C July 4, 2013 (Photo By Ted); superb quality photoessay
- My Restore the Fourth Rally Speech (Julian Sanchez)
- Thousands Protest to Restore the Fourth (Free Press)
- Whistleblower: Obama’s Secrecy Makes Bush Look Mild (Real News Network)
Reblogged this on Get FISA Right and commented:
A writeup of the DC rally, with a YouTube playlist of the speakers, some rallygoer reactions, photos, and more.
Great writeup, Thomas! There’s a lot more press about the Restore the Fourth rallies; I put a roundup on the Get FISA Right blog.
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