Kelb Attends D.C. Rally with Restore the 4th, ACLU,Stop Watching Us and so many others
10/26/13 Washington, D.C.
The D.C. Rally was very successful, as far as we could see. There were about three thousand people (+) in attendance. Long blue silk like signs, high up in the air, joined the shorter hand held signs.
Our message was clear and the crowd was enthusiastic and intent. “Stop Watching Us !” was the message. Simple, sincere and “there”. Supporting organizations were: Stop Watching Us, Electronic Freedom Frontier, Restore the Fourth, Kelb, Inc., Partnership for Civil Justice Fund(PCJF), Thank You Ed Snowden.org,, and many others.
PCJF explained the core message well. They have :
“exposed domestic spying operations including thousands of pages of documents revealing how the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies used their “anti-terrorism” authority and funding to spy on and suppress peaceful protest movements in the United States; uncovered the implementation of a mass surveillance grid; and engaged in other litigation and government transparency work in defense of free speech, civil rights, and civil liberties.”
The group, “Restore the Fourth” explained the nationwide significance of the event: “. . . Hundreds of thousands of people have spoken out since the major NSA leaks began this June. More than 560,000 people took action at StopWatching.Us by signing our petition to the U.S. Congress. Dozens of members of Congress have introduced bills aimed at reining in the NSA, and hundreds of organizations and companies are uniting to end the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance.. . .” (see link below:”Restore the Fourth”)
The petition is calling on Congress to take immediate action to put an end to the surveillance and “provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs.” Over 500,000 people have thus far added their signatures.
The rally comes at a crucial moment, on the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act and as the Senate Intelligence Committee plans to take up legislation to revise the NSA’s spying authority.
“The American patriots participating in this protest understand the fundamental truth […]. . .” (See link below, Intellihub)
The “ThankYouEdSnowden” site well describes an important aspect of this problem:
“ The American people oppose the surveillance state, but have never had a say or a vote on it. The people have not given their consent to the government’s mass dragnet operation to collect, store and analyze their emails and their telephone calls. . . “
Kelb is in absolute agreement. We marched, carried signs and we applaud the efforts of PCJF , the EFF, Restore the Fourth and the ThankYouEdward Snowden, Mega groups and all groups involved in this vital work. The speakers also well articulated the problem and exhorted action.
Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department ethics advisor who is now a director with the Government Accountability Project, read a statement from Snowden to the crowd.
“This isn’t about red or blue party lines, and it definitely isn’t about lines, and it definitely isn’t about terrorism,” Snowden wrote. “It’s about being able to live in a free and open society.” He also noted that “elections are coming up, and we are watching you”. Members of Congress and government officials, he said, were supposed to be “public servants, not private investigators”.
As Ms Radack explained (paraphrasing) America now has the power and capability to put an electronic fence around the United States and any people it wants to. She explained, “they” are on your phone, on your computer, they know your most private thoughts. . . .”
Her advice ? : “Do nothing and this will continue to happen.” . . . Very rousing, and impressive. Points extremely well made.
Gary Johnson, 2012 Libertarian Party Candidate for President and Thomas Drake, former NSA whistleblower, and the legal representative for the ACLU, Shahid Bhutar and others spoke. They explained the capabilities these new technologies present. Gary Johnson explained that the fourth amendment was written to prevent unnecessary search and seizure, as Americans, as colonists, had suffered under the English soldiers. Very emotional and moving speech.
Thomas Drake, described the treachery some American agencies exhibit, when whistleblowers, such as himself and Edward Snowden reveal these atrocities. He caution against, “”acid turned up by the potent brew of secrecy and surveillance”.
He says he has been lucky, but many have been crushed under, by these agencies. Again a very moving speech and his warnings heard.
A very eloquent and powerful woman lawyer/speaker, representing the ACLU, on Saturday, explained that there is a new bill that only needs seven votes for passage. She explained the legal tenets that were being violated and spoke of the ACLU long and historical work on this major issue.
“Please call your senators and congress people.” she exhorted the listening and chanting crowd. “Tell them to vote for this bill: “USA Freedom Act “(Spying reform), by Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU, Washington Legislative Office. Kelb supports this effort and we also, urge all members to call and urge your legislature to vote for passage of “USA Freedom Act.”
Shahid Buthar made a very logical and impassioned speech about the illegal abuses innocent Americans have suffered at the hands of the NSA and intelligence agencies.
One of the most “telling” comments made by those speaking, I thought, came from the Emcee. He said, “you think when you turn your cell phone “off”, it is “off”. You think when you turn your computer “off”, you have turned it “off”. You have not. “They” may well still be there, – our devices are actually “on” (in spite of our free choice to “turn them off”) and “they – NSA , etc.” are listening. “
I was thinking, “he is right”. We really aren’t making those choices. Due to the situation, “they” turn our devices “on and off”. Without our knowledge and consent. This is our country. Our Country. !
Please choose one of these amazing and very pertinent links. Chose one, two or many. They all tell the story, our story that for so long, we have been presenting.
Hello to Lynn Weed! Just wanted to respond with mention of Rep. Rush Holt’s H.R. 2818, Surveillance State Repeal Act that should be enacted immediately, instead of The Freedom Act which is the loyal opposition’s legislative effort. Rep. Holt has been calling for a second Church Committee for years now, and this would be a great opportunity to rein in the corporate-military-intelligence surveillance apparatus by repealing the acts that they base the legitimacy of their unconstitutional activities on.
Many thanks! Paula and Roshi