Restore the Fourth is supported by a wide range of groups and companies from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to the Freedom of the Press Foundation to Mozilla.
The campaign aims to restore the sanctity of the Fourth Amendment which protects the American people from unreasonable searches and seizures while showing that the American people do not consent to the NSA’s surveillance.
In New York City, hundreds of people of all ages endured the heat and humidity to call for an end to the dragnet surveillance practiced by the U.S, according to CNET.
Over 100 protests are being held in cities around the U.S. and even in Europe, according to Restore the Fourth.
The protest in Washington, D.C. featured former NSA executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake who proclaimed, “We will not forsake our rights for the sake of national security!”
It’s hardly surprising to see protests in London and Munich, especially since it was revealed that GCHQ was tapping fiber optic cables to gather massive amounts of private data and that Germany was the target of the most U.S. surveillance out of any European country.
The European Union has also begun taking measures to push back against U.S. surveillance and the German interior minister recently advised people to stop using U.S. web services if they’re concerned about NSA surveillance.
“This is really an invasion of our privacy, a concerning invasion of our privacy,” said Kyle Morgan, a 24-year-old New Jersey resident attending the New York City protest, according to Mashable. “I hope that the NSA and the powers that be really take notice that people are terrified of what’s going on.”
Protests have also spread to smaller American cities like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa.
“The Fourth is obviously a very symbolic day, and in light of recent events, it’s important for Americans to stand up and not just celebrate their past, but be able to fight for a future that’s worth celebrating,” said Alex Turner, a protester and local organizer, according to KCRG.
“Any surveillance that occurs should not only have just cause but also be very particular, as described in the Fourth Amendment,” Turner said.
Restore the Fourth aims to enact reform of the USA PATRIOT Act – which is used to justify some of the surveillance programs – along with the formation of a committee to investigate the surveillance programs.
The campaign also seeks to hold public officials accountable for their involvement if they are found to be responsible for or involved in the unconstitutional surveillance programs.
Just a few examples of images from protests around the world can be seen below.
Protests in Downtown Los Angeles:
In San Francisco: