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We are the 99 percent

What's Up with Restore the Fourth? An Interview with a National Organizer

Posted 10 years ago on July 2, 2013, 5:48 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: j4, restore the fourth, interview

Big Brother Has Seen Enough

Restore the Fourth is a growing grassroots movement organizing nationwide pro-privacy rallies for July 4th, 2013. With July 4th just around the corner, we took the opportunity to interview Jett —a national organizer— to find out more about what's up with #restorethe4th.

First, an open-ended question: what does Restore the Fourth mean to you personally?

To me, Restore the Fourth is symbolic. The protests are taking place on July 4th, a date that commemorates the founding of a new country with new ideals free from oppression. Privacy rights aren’t only respected when the government feels like it, and they can’t simply be thrown away in the name of stopping crime. They’re universal, inherent to every person, American or not.

Do you see Restore the Fourth as only about Edward Snowden and PRISM, or is it about broader issues of privacy and state surveillance?

While Restore the Fourth as a movement was first created in light of Snowden and the NSA’s PRISM scandal, we were never intended to be specifically about that. We’re dedicated to focusing on overarching issues of privacy, both digitally and in the real world.

People of color are unjustly targeted through programs such as "stop and frisk" and the extensive monitoring of Arab and Muslim communities. Are these issues for Restore the Fourth?

Policies and tactics such as ‘stop and frisk’, that are employed by various police forces, are very much a concern for our organization. They’re arguably in violation of the 4th amendment of the United States, which protects from unreasonable searches and seizures. I believe that, moving forward, these may very well be issues at the forefront of our minds.

What would you say to occupiers and other activists who have been victims of intense federal, police, and even corporate surveillance?

Protect yourself. You may not be able to shake the surveillance, but you will be able to take steps in protecting yourself, your family and your private life from unnecessary surveillance. Secure your communications, strengthen your passwords, and check out http://prism-break.org/ for some privacy-secure alternatives to popular software.

Restore the Fourth is an American-based movement, but the U.S. and other nations are engaged in widespread surveillance of non-Americans all over the world. How do you feel we should go about building global solidarity around privacy rights?

As I’ve mentioned previously, I believe that there are a certain set of rights inherent to all humans on this planet - privacy and safety from surveillance being one of them. On a global level, it’s a bit more difficult to secure privacy rights, specifically because different jurisdictions have different laws and customs. Ideally, a network of support would be the best - people in China fighting for privacy rights with those in America supporting them, and vice versa.

Anonymous, anarchists, occupiers, and others are also planning diverse actions for July 4th. How do you distinguish Restore the Fourth as a tactical approach? Do you expect Restore the Fourth rallies will be safe events for people looking to avoid police violence and arrest?

Being non-partisan, Restore the Fourth doesn’t officially endorse any other groups, but we very much welcome their support. So far, we’ve worked very closely with occupiers, and their support has been tremendous. I fully expect the protests to be safe for people of any affiliation from arrest, so long as no acts of violence occur.

In addition to turning out for Thursday’s rallies, what else can people do to show support and get involved? Are there any resources you'd like to share?

There are many things that people can do to help out our movement - spread the news on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), share our hashtag (#RestoreThe4th), or simply tell your friends and family. We also have a page of resources on our website with flyers/posters/etc. if you’d like to get involved that way: http://www.restorethefourth.net/resources/

It looks like we’ll see a good turnout Thursday, but what happens after July 4th? Are there further actions being planned?

This movement started only a few weeks ago, and since then we've experienced exponential growth and progress. Since the movement is still very young, plans diverge in the long term on what we hope to achieve. Personally, I'd like to see a combination of legislative and litigative action (something like what the ACLU does), and others want to see further plans of action. With organizations such as the BORDC, stopwatching.us and the EFF behind us, I feel that we can achieve all of this and much more.



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[-] 0 points by Daffodil (2) 10 years ago

Ironic that you are protesting the actions of the NSA, yet organizing on Facebook and Twitter, NSA partnered sites which give the NSA and US government access to any requested data. Some of us don't have accounts on these sites because we do value our privacy and don't want a massive file of our data in the hands of big brother, and certainly don't want to open one in order to join a group that will certainly land us on a big brother watch list (FBI targeted people from OWS movement). You might want to think about organizing on sites that protect the privacy of their users: http://prism-break.org/

[-] 0 points by patrick911 (0) from Dunkirk, MD 10 years ago

One more thing:

Snowden "leaker" if that's what you want to call it is nothing new at all, if anything the gov is scared of masses of people talking of revolt, protest, etc and is trying to scare everyone into self censorship! Snowden in my opinion has not leaked anything that puts the surveillance state at risk, nor other countries knowledge of spying. All countries spy on eachother and this is nothing new at all to anyone. To me this entire escapade with snowden is to scare gov workers that may actually leak intel of value, and scare masses of sheeple into not saying what they need /want to say to express feelings of a revolution / mass protest. Every "leak" so far is years old knowledge since the bush era..

[-] 0 points by patrick911 (0) from Dunkirk, MD 10 years ago

Start by reading the terms and conditions of private companies. This is the government's direct gateway to private info. Getting people to stop using google apps, bing, yahoo, and most importantly facebook will stop gov from being able to do things like; take photos on your phone, record audio and video, and read every message in emails, texts, etc! It is right in The terms and conditions for the fb app! You give them the right to do so at anytime without any permission. Then it is sold to other "private" companies that are gov sanctioned. Technology is infested with back doors, bloatware, and unless we create a movement to stop using this crap on pcs, laptops, phones, and other devices, the private sector will keep gathering your private info. Delete your accounts, make up a fake name, date of birth, address all fake, email account, buy a cheaper phone w.o. a camera, most importantly never give your real name out on any accounts, use a fake name for cell phone services, and yes this is all easy to do and possible in all states across the usa.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

In compliment from FreePress.​net :

Tomorrow, thousands of people in more than 80 different cities will take to the streets to protest mass surveillance and to stand up for their Fourth Amendment rights.

Click here to find out more about the Restore the Fourth protest happening in Minneapolis.

More than 500,000 people have signed on to StopWatching.Us, sending a message to Congress that we must investigate the NSA's warrantless domestic spying programs. But our representatives won't listen unless we show them we mean business.

These Restore the Fourth rallies will take the country by storm on the Fourth of July -- as long as enough people show up.

This Fourth of July, join the fight for your freedom. Go to Restore the Fourth's Facebook page to learn how you can participate in Minneapolis.



P.S. We made some cool signs you can print out and bring to the rally!

[-] 0 points by magician (31) 10 years ago

Two links to explore.


Avoid paying tax avoiding support to military objectives.


One flag in wartime and one in peacetime? Take a look, and accept that US have had martial law since 1871.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Consider that Greenwald and 'Snowden ''didn’t 'betray' (their) country - but his courageous act and Glenn Greenwald’s journalism are certainly “inciting people to rebel against the authority of [the] state.” Viewed in this way, their act could be considered as seditious ... and they are in good company — with none other than Mahatma Gandhi.

''In March 1922 Gandhi was charged with sedition by the ruling British government in India. He admitted his charges and said : “To preach disaffection towards the existing system of government has become almost a passion with me. The only course open to you … is … either to resign your post or inflict on me the severest penalty.” He was sentenced to six years in prison. What did Gandhi do ? He committed a serious crime — journalism.'' !!! Excerpted from :

fiat lux, fiat pax et fiat justitia ...