(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/21/2013) — On Saturday, October 26, CAIR will join thousands of civil rights activists participating in the “Stop Watching Us” rally against mass surveillance at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Taking place on the 12th anniversary of the USA PATRIOT Act, the rally demands that Congress provide transparency, accountability and reform of the NSA's mass domestic surveillance that collects and stores the phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.
Participants in the October 26 rally will call on Congress to investigate the NSA's mass surveillance programs, ban blanket surveillance of telephone and Internet activity and pursue accountability for any officials who mislead lawmakers and the American people. A petition with more than 570,000 signatures will also be delivered to Congress.
“Recent revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance program make it clear that all Americans, not just American Muslims, are under some form of government surveillance and that our basic constitutional rights are being abused,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. “Now it's time for all Americans to join together and call for an end to such abusive and unconstitutional government spying programs.”
WHAT: Stop Watching Us: Rally Against Mass Surveillance
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: Marchers will first gather at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station at 11:30 a.m., then march to the Capitol Reflecting Pool (3rd Street and Madison Dr. N.W.) where the rally will take place until 3 p.m.
To sign up for the rally or to learn more about the NSA's domestic spying program, CAIR recommends the following websites:
- Stop Watching Us Rally Website
- Rally Facebook Event Page:
- Rally Indiegogo Campaign Page
- CAIR Factsheet on NSA Spying
Saturday's rally, in view of the Capitol Building, will feature speakers and performers from across the political spectrum.
The rally is supported by the StopWatching.us coalition, a group of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum. Coalition members include the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Access, ACLU, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Code Pink, Demand Progress, EFF, Fight for the Future, Free Press, FreedomWorks, the Libertarian Party, Mozilla, Public Knowledge, reddit, Restore the Fourth, Students for Liberty and ThoughtWorks, and many more.
The Atlantic Wire has called the StopWatching.us coalition “perhaps the most diverse collection of groups in the modern history of American politics.”
Rally speakers and performers include:
- Thomas Drake, former NSA senior executive, US Air Force and Navy veteran, computer software expert, and whistleblower
- Governor Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico and 2012 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate
- Dennis Kucinich, former Member of Congress and two time Presidential Candidate
- Bruce Schneier, security technologist and fellow at Harvardâ€™s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and author of 12 books, including “Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World”
- Naomi Wolf, author, critic, activist, and co-founder of The American Freedom Campaign
- Lt. Dan Choi, Iraq veteran who fought for the repeal of “Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell”
- Rainey Reitman, activism director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Laura W. Murphy, director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union
- Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press
- Shahid Butler, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee
- Khalilah Barnes, Administrative Law Counsel at Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Kymone Freeman, director of the National Black LUV Fest
- YACHT, Los Angeles-based conceptual pop group
- Malachi Byrd, member of the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team
- Black Alley, DC-based “soul-garage” band
- Wafa Ben Hassine, writer and human rights advocate
- Not4Prophet, Hip Hop MC, political Punk Rocker, graffiti writer, and community organizer
To speak to a rally organizer, or a member of the coalition, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-999-8292, 202-742-6448, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, email@example.com