MORE THAN 100 ADVOCACY-RIGHTS GROUPS, CELEBRITIES JOIN THE PROTEST
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 – The movement against Big Brother surveillance is growing. Thousands of protesters marched on the Capitol Hill in Washington to protest against the US government’s online surveillance program seen as encroaching on private life.
The protesters urged Congress to reform the legal framework supporting the National Security Agency’s secretive online data gathering.
People carried signs reading: “Stop Mass Spying,” “Thank you, Edward Snowden” and “Unplug Big Brother” as they gathered at the foot of the Capitol to demonstrate against the online surveillance.
The event was organized by a coalition known as “Stop Watching Us” that consists of about 100 public advocacy groups and companies, including the American Civil Liberties Union, privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, Occupy Wall Street NYC and the Libertarian Party.
Estimates varied on the size of the march, with organizers saying more than 2,000 attended. US Capitol Police said they do not typically provide estimates on the size of demonstrations.
The protesters handed to Congress an online petition signed by 575,000 people urging lawmakers to “reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs”.
“It’s not just Americans being caught in this dragnet. We need to stand up for the rest of the world too,” Free Press media and technology advocacy group president and chief executive Craig Aaron told the crowd.
Congress plans to hold new hearings on the surveillance programs in the coming weeks and several bills are being drafted to amend the system.–Agencies