- United States 07/02/2013 by Craig Aaron (Free Press)
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A few of the organizations behind the StopWatching.Us campaign and an organizer of the Restore the Fourth rallies happening across the country on July 4 held a press conference today on the public response to NSA spying and surveillance programs.
Free Press was joined on the call by Harvey Anderson of Mozilla, Kim Lemkuhl of ColorofChange.org, Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Anna Wilmesher of Restore the Fourth — and John Cusack (!), the actor and board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.Free Press
will post the recording of the call as soon as it’s available.
Here’s the text of my statement from today’s call:
I’m the president and CEO of Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund, and I’m here today representing our more than 600,000 Free Press activists from across the country.
Free Press is a founding member of the StopWatching.Us coalition and is supporting the Restore the Fourth events.
We joined with our allies in these efforts because of our commitment to defending Internet freedom and press freedom. Right now, our rights to connect and communicate are in serious jeopardy.
Don’t believe those who suggest the American people don’t care; those pushing that line are just hoping people won’t find out what’s really going on. As we learn more every week about the unchecked surveillance and the corporate collusion, the outcry will grow louder and louder.
This is a nonpartisan effort uniting strange bedfellows from across the political spectrum. But I would say to my friends in progressive and Democratic circles that if you opposed attacks on our civil liberties under Bush and Cheney, you must oppose what the Obama administration is doing.
This is not about right and left. It is about right and wrong.
A word about the press: Orwell said journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. The journalists at the Guardian, the Washington Post, McClatchy and other outlets pushing forward this story deserve our admiration and gratitude.
The efforts to smear, slander and silence these reporters must be challenged. The ability for these reporters — and all reporters — to do their jobs must be safeguarded.
To be honest, the questions being raised about journalists versus activists confuse me. As far as I’m concerned, we need way more of both.
This intrusion into our private lives will not be solved behind closed doors. We need to bring these government and corporate activities into the light of day, and the only way that will happen is if millions more people get involved and demand accountability, demand change, demand the truth.
Want to join the call for NSA accountability? Take action now at StopWatching.Us and then find a Restore the Fourth event near you. I’ll be speaking at the rally in Farragut Square in Washington, D.C. Hope to see you there!