For this Independence Day as part of the Restore the Fourth Movement, I am going to a protest in San Francisco. I am going to protest tomorrow because something is fundamentally wrong with the political system in our country right now. I am sure you have felt it too, no matter what political “side” you are on. If you know me, you already of know my stances on abortion, marriage, immigration, and more; but these are all beside the point for tomorrow’s protest.
I do not know, but I do believe, that if our constitution is upheld and if our government is held accountable to it’s people, then these issues we all care so much about will eventually be resolved. I believe that to be true. What I do not know - and what scares me most - is whether or not our country is actually a functioning democracy at all. Given our actions post 9/11, I don’t know if we can really call ourselves free members of a democracy any longer.
Whether or not you believe Snowden is a criminal, the importance of what has been uncovered cannot be ignored. The US government has decided to change how it treats its citizens and is now ignoring the First and Fourth Amendments of our Constitution. This is all legal because they have invented new secret laws with zero accountability to the public or much of the government, new laws which have washed away our rights we had deemed necessary for a functioning democracy.
Freedom of speech, a free press, a government which is accountable to its people, and a right to privacy, these were some of the fundamental building blocks of what freedom looks like all over the world. But we do not have them anymore here. You cannot talk without being listened to; you cannot write unsettling news without threat of reprisal; and we will never get fair representation if we do not know what is happening. Whether or not you liked Bush or Obama, remember that these laws were made to last many, many presidencies. Our trust in these laws have far outlasted any president.
Please join me tomorrow in San Francisco or any of the over 100 protests happening across the country and demand a change.
Hopefully tomorrow is just a start.