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:
- In New York, 500+ people filled four blocks.
- DC featured an all-star cast of speakers, 400+ people, and 20 news organizations.
- In SF, the 300+ people wound up the rally at 611 Folsom, the home of the famed room 641A.
- The Salt Lake City rally ended with a march on the NSA’s Utah data center.
- People turned out in Raleigh, Charlotte, Portsmouth, Louisville, Rochester, Boston (tweeted by the state police), the Alamo (!), Kansas City, Cedar Rapids, Philadelphia, Denver, Wichita, Birmingham (with a ton of local press) Syracuse, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, Tulsa, Gainesville, Harrisburg, Carson City, Reno, Chicago, Portland, Austin, Midland, San Diego, Saint Louis, Indianapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Buffalo, Iowa City, Asbury Park, Houston, Hartford, Chattanooga, Huntington Beach, Savannah, Tempe, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Seattle, Redmond, Lansing, Bozeman, Missoula, Olympia, …
- Coverage on NBC, Fox News, The Atlantic, Reuters, CNN, CNET, Mashable, CBC, the Christian Science Monitor, the Times of India, Buzzfeed (with the “40 best signs“) and dozens of local TV stations and papers. Update, July 5: more from the Washington Post, the Guardian, ThinkProgress, VentureBeat, Firedoglake, Newsmax, Hullabaloo, All Things D, Nextgov, an AP video, RT, the Daily Caller, the Sydney Morning Herald, US News and World Report, and Vice.
How cool is that?
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July 1, 2013
As 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 restorethefourth.net, 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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July 1, 2013
The 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.
June 19, 2013
Restore 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. http://www.RestoretheFourth.net 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 StopWatching.us (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!