25 October 2013, 14:25

Americans in fury over NSA spying: mass rally 'blessed' by Snowden to be held in DC

Americans in fury over NSA spying: mass rally 'blessed' by Snowden to be held in DC

Not only Europe is outraged with NSA’s mass surveillance. US civil liberties groups are organizing what’s being billed as the largest privacy rally in United States history.

A coalition of groups called StopWatching.Us, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the Libertarian Party, is planning a rally for thousands in Washington to continue pressuring Congress to respond to the revelations of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The Rally Against Mass Surveillance will take place Saturday, October 26 in Washington, DC.

Among Stop Watching Us members are also individuals like Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked with Edward Snowden to expose many of the NSA’s surveillance procedures.

Organizers of the event will deliver a petition to Congress signed by more than 500,000 people opposed to the NSA’s policies.

The coalition's demands are threefold: increased transparency; an end to programs like the collection of Americans' phone records; and accountability for the programs' creators and supporters.

Here is the announcement video released by Stop Watching Us coalition. It features appearances by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Oliver Stone, and others:

"We started with rallies where members of Congress are from, and now we're going to where they work," said Charlie Furman, a campaign manager for the online advocacy group Demand Progress who is helping organize the event. "This is something we aren't going to stop caring about."

One of the rally’s organizers, Sina Khanifar, also noted the importance of generating momentum:

"This is a historic moment. If we don't make it clear to the government that we won't stand for surveillance while Snowden's leaks are in the press, we may never have another chance."

On Thursday, Snowden himself released a statement in support of the rally, encouraging Americans to speak up.

"Today, no telephone in America makes a call 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."

"Now it's time for the government to learn from us … Join us in sending the message: Stop Watching Us."

Member groups of Stop Watching Us include the American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom Works, as well as individuals like Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked with Edward Snowden to expose many of the NSA’s surveillance procedures.

According to a recent poll, 74 percent of Americans believe the National Security Agency's surveillance program intrudes on some American’s privacy rights, just 55 percent of those (and 41 percent of the overall population) believe this intrusion is unjustified.

Voice of Russia, RT, The Huffington Post, policymic.com

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