Open Thread - Anti-NSA Rally in DC

There’s another march on the nation’s capitol this weekend, this time to protest the practices of the NSA and various other surveillance activities of the government. Oddly enough though, aside from a couple of brief mentions on CNN this morning and a few back page coverage pieces, the media seems to be paying even less attention to it than the Million Vet March. (Am I sensing a pattern here, or just being too cynical? Perhaps protesting when Obama is in office is more of a “local story.”) Maybe it will pick up more later if the turnout is good, but there are a few outlets covering it already.


In protest of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, thousands of people are expected to march on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

The rally is being put together by a coalition of diverse groups that have come together under the umbrella organization Stop Watching Us. Their goal: end government spying.

The NSA is one of the biggest surveillance and eavesdropping agencies in the U.S. and was whistleblower Edward Snowden’s workplace before he decided to leak some of the agency’s top-secret documents to the press in June.

One of the interesting things to watch for here is that the original impetus for the rally seemed to come from primarily left leaning forces, though there are contributors from across the spectrum. This is demonstrated by the general ratio of “star power” on display in this video promoting the event.

Of course, in their usual sense of fairness and dedication to public welfare, liberals supporting the effort have decided to put aside their partisan bickering in the interest of the greater good and are welcoming conservatives holding similar views with open arms.

Naw, I’m just kidding. They’re still throwing stones right and left. Well, mostly Left.


Don’t ally with libertarians: Ideologues co-opt an anti-NSA rally

“We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs,” is the basic demand of Stop Watching Us.

This is a vital cause, and I agree with it.

Yet I cannot support this coalition or the rally. It is fatally compromised by the prominent leadership and participation of the Libertarian Party and other libertarian student groups; their hardcore ideology stands in direct opposition to almost everything I believe in as a social democrat.

The Libertarian Party itself — inaccurately described by Stop Watching Us as a “public advocacy organization” — is a right-wing political party that opposes all gun control laws and public healthcare, supported the government shutdown, dismisses public education, opposes organized labor, favors the end of Social Security as we know it, and argues in its formal political manifesto that “we should eliminate the entire social welfare system” while supporting “unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types.”

See? It doesn’t matter if you agree with them on this “vital cause” or not. If you also happen to support gun rights, right to work laws, entitlement program reform or the free market in general, you’re not welcome here. You’re not our sort of people and we don’t want you ruining our party by making it look like we agree on something. You really can’t make this stuff up.


If the turnout is large and/or the media actually starts offering some coverage of this, we’ll bring in some updates. Otherwise, take this as your morning open thread and have at it.

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