Protestors rally against NSA, call for new American revolution
WASHINGTON – While Americans celebrated the birth of the nation Thursday, just two blocks away from the White House an all-ages crowd of over 200 people rallied to call for a second American revolution.
Enraged over the revelations from National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden, citizens gathered in cities across the U.S. to protest what they see as the U.S. government’s unconstitutional surveillance of the American people.
Washington, D.C.’s version of the “Restore the Fourth” rally was held midday in McPherson Square.
The atmosphere at the McPherson Square gathering was positive, and laughter was often juxtaposed with serious calls by attendees for the U.S. government to restore the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
The Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unlawful search and seizure by government officials, is the Constitutional basis on which privacy advocates argue that government access to private electronic communications requires a warrant.
Just down the road at the National Mall, people gathered to enjoy the day’s festivities under the Beltway sun, anticipating the fireworks that would illuminate the evening sky above the Washington Monument.
Back at McPherson, American flags were flown upside down to symbolize a nation in distress, and protestors held signs mocking the National Security Agency.
Protestors waved at a helicopter flying slowly overhead in case its occupants were observing the gathering below.
Speakers included representatives from across the ideological spectrum, including: the Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Instiute, Demand Progress, Free Press, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Parents with their children stood alongside young adults and the elderly, and numerous ethnicities were in attendance.
Former National Security Agency senior executive and agency whistleblower Thomas Drake took the stage near the end of the rally to rousing applause.
“On this day, the Fourth of July, 2013, I call for a new American revolution, declaring our independence from the surveillance state and government control of information,” called out Drake, invoking cheers from the audience.
He proclaimed that the U.S. government has become the very type of tyrannical government the Founding Fathers fought against in the first American revolution.
“We now have a government breaking the promise of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” he said, “How dare they! How dare they!”