Restore the Fourth: Grassroots civil liberties activism is back and better than ever!

July 4, 2013

Restore the Fourth rally on the Federal Building, NY

It’s the Fourth of July, and we’re fighting for our civil liberties.

me, in 2008, to the Senator Obama – Please, No Telecom Immunity and Get FISA Right mailing list

Five years later, grassroots civil liberties activism on social networks is back and better then ever. Back in 2008, we were organizing online, trying to stop the disastrous FISA Amendment Act, and Barack Obama had just responded to our open letter. We lost that battle, but the fight goes on … and today it went to the next level at Restore the Fourth‘s rallies across the country:

New York

How cool is that?

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#restorethe4th roundup: resources, media attention, and videos

July 1, 2013

RestoreThe4thAs we head into the July 4 rallies, I thought it would be useful to collect some useful links.

For organizers — or people wanting to get the word out — the best place to start is Restore the Fourth’s website at, where there’s a a FAQ, list of protests, , the June 18 press release, and a resources page (including logos, flyers, and guides for organizers on media and outreach).  There’s also a wiki page with more resources on Reddit; and of course r/RestoreTheFourth subreddit which is the best place to go for links, questions, and discussions.  Bill of Rights Defense Committee’s How to protest against NSA surveillance on Fourth of July and the reddit threads on first-time protestors and  talking points all have great tips, tricks, and general advice.

The rallies are starting to get more and more attention. For example:

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How to protest against NSA surveillance on Fourth of July

July 1, 2013

BORDC: Bill of Rights Defense CommitteeThe Bill of Rights Defense Committee has an excellent post on How to protest against NSA surveillance on Fourth of July, with all kinds of tips and considerations for holding a high-impact, engaging protest. Some of the topics it covers: getting the word out, attracting press, signs and music at the protest, legal issues, and practical concerns like water and sunscreen.

Extremely useful information — check it out!

And if you’re looking for a protest in your area, check out the Restore the Fourth website as well!

Update: scarletsaint, an organizer for the DC rally, has some excellent thoughts on what to bring, what to wear, and what expect.

Restore the Fourth! McPherson Sq Rally — July 4 at noon

June 30, 2013

The Rt4th folks in DC are putting together a great rally; find your local “Restore the 4th” chapter and show up for your rights this Independence Day!

Update: scarletsaint, an organizer for the DC rally, has some excellent thoughts on reddit on what to bring, what to wear, and what expect.

Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition

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…

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Thousands Prepare to Protest Nationwide on July 4th for Fourth Amendment Rights

June 19, 2013

RestoreThe4thRestore the Fourth is a grassroots, non-partisan, non-violent movement that seeks to organize and assemble nationwide protests on July 4th, 2013. Protesters in over 100 cities across America will gather to demand that the government of the United States adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment. provides a detailed list of protest locations.

Restore the Fourth’s press release

Just like in 2008, there’s a lot of grassroots opposition to the NSA’s surveillance on social networks.  Restore the Fourth started on Reddit, and with their well-run daily IRC meetings has been making impressive progress.  They wrote their just-issued press release collaboratively, much as Get FISA Right did back in the day with our open letter to Obama and video scripts.Restore the 4th stands with EFF and (and Get FISA Right and the ACLU and BORDC and reddit and the other 100+ signers) on the call to Congress to reform the FISA Amendments Act and Section 215 of the Patriot Act, appoint a special committee to investigate, and hold public officials accountable.   The July 4th demonstrations seek to demand an end to the unconstitutional surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government and to ensure that all future government surveillance is constitutional, limited, and clearly defined.  So check out their site to see if any of the 77 protests currently in planning are near you … and get involved!