‘Restore the Fourth’: Thousands expected at anti-NSA rallies

A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying the latest interview of Edward Snowden, is displayed on a newspaper stand along with local Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong. Credit: Reuters
A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying the latest interview of Edward Snowden, is displayed on a newspaper stand along with local Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong.
Credit: Reuters

While many of us spend the Fourth of July grilling hot dogs and watching fireworks, other Americans will join nationwide rallies against the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program.

The organization, Restore the Fourth, which was created on Reddit in reaction the recent news surrounding the NSA, is planning the protests. According to Mashable, the organization’s long-term goal is “ending what its members consider the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance regime and reinstating the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…”

Restore the Fourth has three main beliefs. The organization is non-partisan, non-violent and grassroots.

Doug MacArthur, a member of Restore the Fourth, told Mashable that this week’s protests are meant to build and spread awareness.

“I think if you are on social media right now and political blogs, this might seem like it’s an issue that’s all over the political blogs,” he said. “But if you turn on CNN or Fox or MSNBC, you’ll see that a lot of the more mainstream channels aren’t covering this as much as you might be assuming. So I really think it’s important we get more citizens aware of this issue.”

MacArthur is also a moderator on Reddit’s r/news. He also said that this is just the beginning of the organization’s actions. According to Mashable, MacArthur said he expects between 10,000 – 20,000 people to show up at protests planned in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other cities.

“When it comes to boycotts and legal action and political lobbying, we definitely want to do that. But the plan right now is to focus on promotion between now and the fourth, then use the promotion and the infrastructure we set up doing promotion to take more long-term action after that.”

Advocacy organizations such as Free Press, the Freedom of the Press Foundation and Mozilla have expressed their support for Restore the Fourth.

To find a protest in your area click here.

 Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant


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