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‘Stop Watching Us’ Rally Calls for an End to Mass Surveillance

Snowden sends message to crowd: “This is not about party lines, and it’s definitely not about terrorism. It’s about power, control, and trust in government."

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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October 26, 2013 - 4:45 pm
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stopwatchingamash

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) at the Stop Watching Us rally.

WASHINGTON – At a rally in front of the Capitol on Saturday, a diverse group of activists gathered to protest against mass surveillance programs and deliver a simple message to Congress: stop watching us.

More than a thousand demonstrators participated in the march, holding signs that said “Thank you, Edward Snowden,” “Stop Mass Surveillance,” and “No NSA mass spying.”

Stop Watching Us, a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy groups, organized the event calling for an end to mass surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). The group brings together organizations ranging from the conservative and libertarian Young Americans for Liberty and the Competitive Enterprise Institute to Occupy Wall Street NYC, from Tea Party-aligned Freedom Works to progressive groups like Demand Progress and MoveOn.org.

The NSA spying controversy has catapulted back into the spotlight amid new revelations by former NSA contractor Snowden that the U.S. monitored the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Leaders of Italy and France have protested NSA surveillance, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a visit to the U.S. last month over allegations of U.S. espionage.

“Whistleblowers have revealed that the government has lied to Congress and to the American people, it has lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, it has lied to and spied upon foreign governments,” said Laura Murphy, director of the Washington legislative office at the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Illegal snooping and spying on citizens and foreign governments are not the values our soldiers are sent into war to protect and defend. This is not the promise in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that presidents, members of Congress, and cabinet officers swear to uphold,” she continued.

Snowden, who is currently in an undisclosed location in Russia, sent a message to the people at the rally.

“In the last four months we’ve learned a lot about our government. We’ve learned that the government secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance. Today, no telephone call in America goes through without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA’s hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They’re wrong,” Snowden said. “We’ve also learned this is not about party lines, and it’s definitely not about terrorism. It’s about power, control, and trust in government. About whether you have a voice in our democracy, whether decisions are made for you, rather than with you.”

Many in the rally showed their support for Snowden by chanting his name and displaying signs.

“Thank you, Edward Snowden, for bringing to the attention of the world the fact that U.S. government and the NSA is engaged in massive information gathering,” said former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. “125 billion cell phone conversations a month, judges granting legal authority for the NSA to monitor 113 million Verizon users. This is not due process.”

“There are members of Congress who wrote the Patriot Act and are vowing to fix it. Well, there’s only one way to fix it, and that’s to repeal it,” he added.

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Top Rated Comments   
The CIA and FBI (presumably recipients of NSA spying info) knew of the suspicious activity of the Boston bombers, of Major Hasan and of Anwar al-Awlaki and yet they did nothing to stop or even lessen their violence. The FBI is said to be carefully avoiding monitoring mosques and scrupulously avoiding any focus at all on Middle Eastern male Muslims, even though Middle Eastern male Muslims have been involved in the vast majority of terrorist plots and attacks. All throughout the Federal Government any references or training connecting Islam in any way to terrorism is being systematically purged. They avoid monitoring any hate spewing and violence inciting mosque like they plague.

All of which proves they are not even looking for terrorists. It's like someone telling you they are fishing for salmon but they refuse to go within a hundred miles of any body of water. Their lies would be absolutely hilarious in their absurdity if not so tragic.

Who is ObamaZod's NSA Stasi spying on with little short of a proctology exam? You! Not Terrorists. Look at who ObamaZod's IRS Gestapo went after. Followers of Mohammad? No. Followers of the Founding Fathers.

As Barry Goldwater said about "the end justifies the means" (and it's not even like all this totalitarian crap is even making us any safer) - if ever there was a philosophy of government totally at war with that of the Founding Fathers and their Constitution and Bill of Rights, it is this one.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure if there were a lot of anarchists in those crowds protesting the heavy hand of the NSA but if there were then we have (at last) something in common.

I've come to the conclusion that guys like Snowden are heroic in their efforts. He's given up a lot in his life to expose the lies and deceit of our government that he uncovered in the files he pilfered.

Some day we'll find out just how paranoid our current POTUS really is. I think many will be quite surprised at the levels of his paranoia. Zero makes Nixon look like a piker in comparison.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes! And they called the collection of specific phone numbers, names, addresses and times metadata. What propaganda! Snowden is an American hero! I am very sorry he had to go to the autocratic government of Russia to be safe from our autocratic government.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Yet many at this rally are ALL IN for destined to fail statist intervention ala Uhbamacare.

It's but more pick and choose relativism, selective amnesia, emotive-led 'needs' and 'fairness' Illiberal doctrine.

Sorry.. This 'united' fallacy shall pass as well. HRC, Durbin or some other Illiberal pol will coax their Illiberal constituents with pure idiocy why this spying on its citizenry is necessary and the obedient MSM will spin the story as 'caring through control' and the Illiberals will fall back in line, returning to their collective, emotive-led selective comas.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
up to I saw the draft 4 $5028, I have faith that...my... friends brother actually bringing home money part time at there labtop.. there mums best friend started doing this for only about six months and just now repayed the dept on there condo and got a great new Chevrolet. you can check here >>>>> http://x.co/2hNL1
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a tragic course of events, what a sad day for the United States, which not long ago enjoyed the best system of gov't on earth - no longer. We are all being watched. I post here and on the Israel site y-net, my email address supposedly protected, and get email come-ons, with links from addresses in the Arab world. Twice, when I have landed in San Francisco in the past year on the way to visit my 90-year old mother, I have been openly harassed by Homeland Security agents infuriated that I came from Israel - as if the Obama Admin has put the word out to harass Jews - or anyone - coming from Israel. I don't know exactly what's next. America is still a beautiful land, and so many Americans fine people. It brings tears to my eyes - literally.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lighten Up, Sam!

we want you out of our business and off our *

IRS,EPA,NSA,CIA,FBI,BATFE,DEA,Dept of Ed, HHS, Federal Reserve, et al

let go of our country, man
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish someone could turn the technology on the skullduggery taking place in The Oval Office so we could finally find out who's really in charge. The lack of accountability of this administration overshadows even the abuses of the NSA and has created an impenetrable smokescreen behind which who knows who does what evil.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The government and Media avoid the great elephant in the room;

A spying program this comprehensive, invasive and over reaching was also used for business interests. Trade meetings, conversations between governments and suppliers, confidential pricing, technology and inventory data, commodity information, etc was gathered and distributed to certain corporations providing illegal competitive advantage.
This was done using the Patriot act as cover using US taxpayer money, claiming terrorism as the excuse to infiltrate governments, corporations, commodity exchanges, currency markets, and private commercial markets.
This will come out eventually, and when it does will be the final straw in this historic abuse of the Constitution.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The CIA and FBI (presumably recipients of NSA spying info) knew of the suspicious activity of the Boston bombers, of Major Hasan and of Anwar al-Awlaki and yet they did nothing to stop or even lessen their violence. The FBI is said to be carefully avoiding monitoring mosques and scrupulously avoiding any focus at all on Middle Eastern male Muslims, even though Middle Eastern male Muslims have been involved in the vast majority of terrorist plots and attacks. All throughout the Federal Government any references or training connecting Islam in any way to terrorism is being systematically purged. They avoid monitoring any hate spewing and violence inciting mosque like they plague.

All of which proves they are not even looking for terrorists. It's like someone telling you they are fishing for salmon but they refuse to go within a hundred miles of any body of water. Their lies would be absolutely hilarious in their absurdity if not so tragic.

Who is ObamaZod's NSA Stasi spying on with little short of a proctology exam? You! Not Terrorists. Look at who ObamaZod's IRS Gestapo went after. Followers of Mohammad? No. Followers of the Founding Fathers.

As Barry Goldwater said about "the end justifies the means" (and it's not even like all this totalitarian crap is even making us any safer) - if ever there was a philosophy of government totally at war with that of the Founding Fathers and their Constitution and Bill of Rights, it is this one.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure if there were a lot of anarchists in those crowds protesting the heavy hand of the NSA but if there were then we have (at last) something in common.

I've come to the conclusion that guys like Snowden are heroic in their efforts. He's given up a lot in his life to expose the lies and deceit of our government that he uncovered in the files he pilfered.

Some day we'll find out just how paranoid our current POTUS really is. I think many will be quite surprised at the levels of his paranoia. Zero makes Nixon look like a piker in comparison.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Some day we'll find out just how paranoid our current POTUS really is."

Even paranoids have enemies. In Obama's case, he's not paranoid, everyone really does hate him.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stop watching us (or we'll hold our breath until we turn blue and you'll be sorry).
I can just see emperor odumbo trembling in his loafers!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fascists are always among us. It is part of the human condition, like gossip. All it took to bring them to the surface was 9/11 to generate enough fear amongst the people to enable American fascists on both sides of the isle to take control. They are using the fear of terrorism to destroy our civil rights and enslave us under a technological yoke, yet at the same time they utterly refuse to protect the border and keep the bad guys out so that we won’t need their fascism. Their corruption, open borders, perpetuates more corruption, the creation of a neofascist police state. The founding fathers were traitors to the crown, not unlike Snowden. It’s good to betray the king, because America isn’t supposed to be ruled by kings, not one and certainly not a whole far-away city full of them.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Either the NSA dies or America does.
“In the end, there can be only one”.
The NSA is as incompatible with America as is Islam and for many of the same reasons.

Snowden shouldn't even be the issue here, only a footnote. When a government becomes so totalitarian that it sets to spying, and in mass and in great detail, on it's own people like they were all subjects, if not criminals, it is not doing so on their behalf. Only the most mindless of sheeple could think so. The Stasi wasn't in East German and the N-Stasi-A isn't in America. And this is on top of the TSA/Gropestapo molesting little girls and grandmas at our airports and largely giving middle easterners a pass. I don't think the federal government has stopped a single attack, and has caused quite a number (Fort Hood, Boston, Benghazi, Navy Shipyard, Mexican invaders who kill so many and most every day), with their gross willful dereliction. I don't care how many times Herr Hussein Obama and other N-Stasi-A supporters and apologists and lackeys tell me that's Holy Water they are spraying on my leg to keep me safe, I know that it's something very different - and it smells to high Heaven. If there were justice in the world, Snowden would be living it up in the White House and Obama and his N-Stasi-A criminals would be in hiding, maybe somewhere in North Korea, in a dark cave. subsisting on grass.

There is no doubt at all that the Founding Fathers, to a man, would despise the NSA and probably more than they despised King George.

The NSA and all it's just following orders paid for anti-American employes can go straight to Hell..
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes! And they called the collection of specific phone numbers, names, addresses and times metadata. What propaganda! Snowden is an American hero! I am very sorry he had to go to the autocratic government of Russia to be safe from our autocratic government.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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