Broad Coalition Targets Pelosi Over NSA Surveillance, Protests Set for Sunday

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Events, News, Politics

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Published on August 02, 2013 with 4 Comments

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is a target of protest over her defense of NSA surveillance.  File photo by Luke Thomas.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is a target of protest over her defense of NSA surveillance. File photo by Luke Thomas.

From Restore The Fourth

August 2, 2013

San Francisco-Widely cited as the member of Congress most responsible for beating back a legislative challenge to NSA surveillance programs a week ago, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is now facing a backlash in her tech-savvy San Francisco district.

Organizers of a protest set for the city this Sunday (Aug. 4) have chosen to specifically target Pelosi for her pivotal role in defending the Obama administration’s rationales for domestic spying.

The rally will take place beginning at 12pm at Vaillancourt Fountain, The Embarcadero, San Francisco

Internet users may visit http://1984day.com/san-francisco/ to RSVP for the San Francisco rally and invite others to attend.

Information about other rallies across the country may be found here: http://1984day.com/

“Pelosi has let down the large number of her constituents — whether they call themselves, liberal, progressive, conservative, libertarian or whatever — who are appalled by revelations of dragnet NSA surveillance and want it stopped,” said Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction and one of the scheduled speakers at the Sunday protest, which is likely to include a march past Pelosi’s district office.

The Sunday demonstration is being sponsored by Restore the Fourth, which describes itself as a “grassroots, nonpartisan, nonviolent movement dedicated to ending all forms of unconstitutional surveillance of digital communications by the U.S. government.” Several prominent guest speakers will include whistleblowers Daniel Ellsberg and Mark Klein.

It is being supported by a slew of national organizations, including the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Defending Dissent Foundation, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press Action Fund, OpenMedia.org, RootsAction, Media Alliance, Rootsrikers, and others.

This second rally follows the success of July 4, 2013 events, which saw tens of thousands of Americans turn out nationwide — to raise awareness of unconstitutional surveillance, such as that employed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in its recently-revealed metadata collection and PRISM programs, and to encourage the cessation of all U.S. government surveillance that stands in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  Approximately 400 people marched down Market Street in San Francisco on July 4 to voice their concerns over such issues.

“We are holding this event to reinforce our previous point: that this incursion onto our privacy affects everyone — whether they are aware of the issue or not — and that there are enough people outraged at the actions of the government that there is a loud public outcry,” said Ryan Brown, an organizer within the San Francisco chapter of Restore the Fourth. “We are here to show the people of San Francisco, our elected officials, and the nation at large that there are individuals out the who care about everyone’s right to privacy — and who are willing to fight for it.”

The upcoming San Francisco rally, beginning at Noon in Embarcadero Plaza, will feature guest speakers from 1-2 pm. Among the speakers will be Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers detailing government secrets about the Vietnam War, and Mark Klein, the former AT&T technician who revealed in 2006 that the company was colluding with the NSA by diverting customer data through NSA collection filters — including one located in AT&T’s San Francisco office. Also speaking will be Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org, a national online group challenging government secrecy, and Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress, said:  “The American people and most rank-and-file members of Congress support reining in the domestic surveillance regime.  But Nancy Pelosi sold out her constituency, after years of posturing as a progressive who opposes the Patriot Act: When push comes to shove she’ll back the establishment, even while purporting to uphold the values of her liberal San Francisco base.  It’s well past time to hold her to account.”

Steve Anderson, Executive Director of OpenMedia.org, said: “The NSA’s reckless spying on innocent citizens represents a stunning abuse of our basic rights. This is a watershed moment for all of us – either we stand up for our democratic rights, or we end up with blanket surveillance over every aspect of our day-to-day lives. It’s time for an end to warrantless spying on law-abiding citizens.”

According to Shahid Buttar of BORDC, Nancy Pelosi is not the only federal official from San Francisco to betray the liberal legacy of that proud city and its residents. Senator Dianne Feinstein, as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has proven repeatedly complicit in NSA abuses. Even while advocating for greater transparency in a Washington Post op-ed this week, she renewed her support of dragnet domestic spying. The people of San Francisco will not stand for this.

According to Szelena Gray of Rootstrikers, “A MapLight analysis of last week’s vote on de-funding NSA dragnet spying showed that pro-NSA Congressional voters received more than twice the defense industry campaign contributions than their anti-NSA counterparts. In other words, the defense industry spent $12.97 million during the last election cycle, and the lawmakers who voted in their interests, and against reining in a costly, unconstitutional government program, proved it was money well-spent.”