“The right of the people to be secure…against unreasonable searches and seizure, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The above is what was distributed to those who chose to spend this Independance Day protesting the National Security Agency (NSA) and its newly discovered surveillance program of citizens’ telephone records and Internet traffic.
About 50 Atlantans gathered outside the State Capitol Building with signs and chanting such things as “Hey! Hey! NSA, How many calls did you track today?”
Copwatch of East Atlanta, an organization designed to protect communities from police abuse and educate the public on their rights, was also on hand to speak with people about getting involved with their efforts.
While the whole scene was pretty unorganized, people had the opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns and criticism in an open-mic format. One man wondered why the protest was happening in front of an empty state capitol building surrounded only by like-minded individuals. Many agreed and tentative plans were made for future protests and demonstrations in an effort to better spread their message.
We Americans like to think that we set the standard for the rest of the world when it comes to freedom and liberty but the current standard in not something to be proud of. NSA spying is not reflective of the Constitution and is not something to ignore.
I hope that people in Atlanta and all over the country can stand together on this issue and let our government officials know that we are not OK with imposing on our rights in this way.