What We Saw At The Anti-NSA "Stop Watching Us" Rally

On October 26, 2013, protesters from across the political spectrum gathered in Washington, D.C. to take part in the Stop Watching Us rally, a demonstration against the National Security Agency's domestic and international surveillance programs. 

Reason TV spoke with protesters - including 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich - to discuss the rally, why people should worry about the erosion of privacy, and President Barack Obama's role in the growth of the surveillance state.

CORRECTION: Laura Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, was incorrectly identified as Susan N. Herman, ACLU President.

Produced by Joshua Swain, interviews by Todd Krainin.

About 3 minutes long. 

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  • Jquip||

    There a high bit of irony in "See us! Hear us! So you won't see and hear us anymore!"

  • Sevo||

    Your presumption is the message was aimed at the 'see us, hear us' agency.
    It was aimed at those who still seem to think A4 has to do with wooden doors.

  • Snark Plissken||

    When A4 is actually a metric paper size.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The puppets...the drums...the hey hey ho hos...aimed at Obama! it took about five years, but it looks like there are some leftists willing to ignore the cries of "racist" and koch bros" and publicly express their dissent from the Light Bearer - I mean light bringer.

  • Paul.||

    I dunno, I saw a lot of middle-aged white guys. I'm feeling some Ron Paul stuff. Gary Johnson was there!

    Frankly though, I don't much care who it is who's out there, I'm just happy someone is.

  • Skip||

    We know the Left deems any majority white people protest/gathering as de facto illegitimate and racist.

  • General Butt Naked||

    So, occupy is racist then?

    I knew it.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Unless they're liberals.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I understand that - indeed, some lefty was chastizing his comrades for collaborating with icky libertarians. I focused on the leftist contingent for its political significance.

  • Elston G||

    " indeed, some lefty was chastizing his comrades for collaborating with icky libertarians."

    [citation needed]

  • SIV||

    Obama insisted GM kill Pontiac to get a bailout

    SLD: GM shouldn't have gotten any bailout. Someone would have picked up the prestige and popular marques. Cadillacs, Corvettes and Chevys would have still been made, only by the new owners.

    In the depths of the "financial crisis" I tried like hell to buy a manual trans turbo Solstice coupe (only slushbox or na motor models were available and w/o the fire sale incentives on the other orphaned models). It was the most beautiful thing to come out of Detroit in decades. They ran one small production run down the assembly line before killing Pontiac which had the most innovative, exciting and interesting (all RWD performance-oriented) lineups of any American motorcar company tooled up and poised or just hitting the market. With no bailout there was a small chance the marque would've been spun off and survived.

  • SIV||

  • Sevo||

    OK, I can't tell how that would have sold, 'cause I'm a sucker for cars that didn't sell: http://www.bing.com/images/sea.....IR&pq=chev

  • SIV||

  • Sevo||

    Tough. Not sure. Really?
    Someone in gov't presumed to know what was going to sell to tell GM to drop Pontiac?
    Really? Almost sounds like conspiracy theory, but it is easily explained by stupidity, and the Obo admin has more than enough of that.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Cadillacs, Corvettes and Chevys would have still been made, only by the new owners.

    They are being made by the new owners. The new owners being the labor unions. The old owners didn't even get a lousy 10 cents on the dollar.

    With no bailout there was a small chance the marque would've been spun off and survived.

    Of course. Roger Penske was ready and willing to buy Saturn.

  • anon||

    Saturn... The MOST profitable division of GM got the axe. I never fucking understood that, until someone told me that the Saturn division wasn't unionized.

  • Elston G||

    Off Topic.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    There were an unusually large number of men with unattractive beards at the anti-NSA rally, and that is why there are no libertarian women. So, now you know.

  • Irish||

    It was a joint libertarian/leftist rally. Those men with unattractive beards could have been filthy hippies.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Or men's rights activists

  • Troy muy grande boner||

    Doesn't look like there were a lot of people there. i.e. in the hundreds of thousands. NOw if you shut down NASCAR, NFL football, or Duck Dynasty, you could get a bigger response.

  • BardMetal||

    pissed drunk on kraken rum and Alestorm. I had i something derogetoery to those who prefer weed but I forgot what it was.

  • BardMetal||

    Hey your banjacked hey you're screwed

  • RannedPall||

    Man keep rolling that sweet bean footage!!!1!11

  • Ken Shultz||

    Saw some lefties in there.

    I saw a feminist icon, an ACLU person, and a former Democratic presidential candidate!

    If he's lost all three of them, then, Mr. Obama, even your own people are getting sick of your shit. ...they even got a guy with a Lenin beard protesting against you!

    Every president in recent memory has gone through a phase, at the end of his presidency, when his own party tries to distance themselves from their own president as much as possible.

    Gore tried to distance himself from Clinton; McCain didn't want to be associated with Bush; and it looks like it's already starting to happen to Obama, and it's about freakin' time.

    This would be a great time, too, to start hammering our friends and family for being Obama fans. Once his own party throws him under the bus--how will they defend him then?

  • Paul.||

    We saw Naomi Wolf. I wonder how she blames the NSA on capitalism?

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Capitalism was required to create the computing power necessary for the NSA's spying, a communist country would have used agents to follow each person and listen at their doors, only America would be able to create an organization that could hoover (or Hoover) up everything.

  • Mark22||

    The discrepancy between campaign promises and presidency is particularly stark for Obama: unconstitutional invasions of privacy, crony capitalism, deficits, wars, illegal detentions, angering European allies, etc. Obama did all the things he was running against, and he has been worse than Bush.

  • Elston G||

    "and he has been worse than Bush."

    We are losing 750,000 jobs a month?

    Not even close.

  • mkreitler||

    Gore tried to distance himself from Clinton; McCain didn't want to be associated with Bush; and it looks like it's already starting to happen to Obama, and it's about freakin' time.

    Recently read that this is just campaign strategy. Obama can't be re-elected, and the citizenry is disgruntled, so Hilary (or whomever) throws him under the bus to win the public's approval.

    Makes sense to me. Just the logical extension of our current "Looks-like-two-parties-but-is-really-just-one" system.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Recently read that this is just campaign strategy."

    If it's a campaign strategy, then it isn't a campaign strategy in a vacuum.

    If candidates start distancing themselves from Obama as a campaign strategy, it must be becasue they think being as far away from him as possible increases their chances of getting elected.

    That means Obama must be getting less popular among voters, and if that's the case, then it's an indication of something real.

    Familiarity breeding contempt is an underappreciated force in American politics. This sitcom is getting boring--Obama my have jumped the shark way back during Benghazi or maybe when he tried to bomb Syria. Maybe it was about the NSA; maybe it was about the exchange websites. Whenever it was, the Obama Show isn't getting ratings like it used to...

    Do you guys hear that? That's the sound of a lame duck quacking.

  • Atanarjuat||

    I could see that: Hillary says the same anti-war, pro-freedom stuff Obama said on the campaign trail, and like Obama, once she is in office the boot stomps our neck even harder.

    But there is no way Americans will elect a shrill, unattractive harpy to POTUS. Call us superficial if you want.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Hillary will never win because of Benghazi

  • Redmanfms||

    Hillary will never win because of Benghazi

    Hillary won't win because a whole lot of Dems loathe her with a passion usually only reserved for Teathuglicans.

    Even during '08, the nomination was seen as a coronation by the pundocracy, up until Clinton started getting murdered in the polls. Obama was a total nobody in 2008 (sure, he gave the keynote at the '04 convention, but when does anybody actually watch those things?). Obama was the equivalent of an "anybody but Hillary" vote by the Dems.

  • Paul.||

    Oh thank god. I thought that the giant papier mache head industry died completely after Bush left office.

  • Skip||

    If the Democratic Party's useful idiots at MSNBC and Salon had real courage, they would have set themselves on fire to protest the protesters insulting Lord Obama's name!

  • Elston G||

    The only ones referring to Obama as "Lord"
    or "Savior" or the "Annointed one" are people like you.


  • cavalier973||

  • anon||

    a state of mind many in the tea party can relate to in their radical pursuit of a more fiscally responsible, limited federal government.

    Wow, interesting phrasing there.

    If they think the Tea Party is "radical"...

  • Bam!||

    Noted idiot Meghan Megan...

  • Michael Hihn||

    The first New Deal President proclaimed a right to throw citizens into concentration camps, with no trials and no charges filed.

    The second New Deal President proclaimed a right to spy on ALL citizens within our borders. And to murder citizens abroad, also with no trials and no charges filed.

    This confirms a pattern. Big government = disdain for individuals

    President Clinton sent a long overdue apology to the Japanese-American victims of FDR's prison camps, acknowledging "actions that unfairly denied Japanese Americans and their families fundamental liberties during WWII."

    Take special notice of how Clinton described FDR's Executive Order (emphasis added)

    "In retrospect, we understand that the nation's actions were rooted deeply in racial prejudice, wartime hysteria and a lack of political leadership."

    This is still America. (Yeah, it is) Some future President will likely apologize for the moral atrocities of the second New Deal President ... but again, far too late for so many tragic victims.

  • Paul.||

    It'd be nice if the citizens of Seattle could get an apology from the city council for the crimes they've committed against humanity. I'm not holding my breath.

  • bill o'rights||

    Is it safe to say that the Russians have completely obliterated the administration's neo-Trotskyist pipe-dreams?

    And now, the meteoric rise of Pan-European nationalism.

    Somehow, I think the backlash is coming here too.

    Watch the present administration step into a trap of their own making...watch them ratchet up the assault on civil liberties and their political opposition. And, all the while, diehard supporters denying the truth about them, insisting that responsibility lies squarely on the backs of previous administrations--as though previous administrations still sat in the White House. So sad.

    Perhaps somewhere in this mess lies the opportunity to start fresh and regain control of our government.

    One thing is certain, however. Any additional suppression of civil liberties at this point would likely have devastating consequences, as the whole of the American populace join the ranks of the disillusioned and recognize that D.C. has become drunk with power. And you can bet there will be more Snowden revelations.

    Gee, I seem to remember Mr. Obama mocking Romney during the debates, when Romney indicated that the nation of greatest concern was Russia.

    This is what happens when Jr. Marxist Community Organizers convince themselves that the Russians are closet Stalinists who would embrace and cheer on their misguided global Marxist revolution.

  • Elston G||

    It would be interesting to know why so called conservatives never protested the Patriot Act and warrant less wiretapping and the unprecedented explosion of Federal agencies of the police state and the lack of investigations into 911.

    Principled fiscal conservatives?

    Not at all.

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