Photo of the Day: Fighting the NSA

The NSA Must Go!

1962, Los Angeles, California.  Photo by Harvey Richards.

1962, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harvey Richards.

February 11 is a day to fight back against the NSA.  (See https://thedaywefightback.org/) In support of that day of protest, we offer the photo by Harvey Richards in 1962 in Los Angeles during a protest against hearings of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) conducting a witch hunt against dissenters.  The car in the background is an FBI car with FBI agents on top filming the protesters in an obvious attempt to intimidate them. The fight against the anti-communist witch hunt back then barely made the press. Harvey Richards photography was motivated in large part towards fighting the NSA. Today, thanks to Edward Snowden, Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwarld, and many other brave whistle blowers, the tables are turning.

These 1962 protesters were part of a fight that has been going on since the NSA was founded after World War II. There has always been a tension between the democratic ideals that the US was founded upon and the economic empire that is our reality. This tension expressed itself throughout the history of the United States, first and foremost by those who fought against slavery and disenfranchisement of women,

The Bill of Rights was written to guarantee certain inalienable rights against the forces of empire (England at that time) and helped to establish the basic framework for political life in our country. The Bill of Rights has been a beacon of hope for the whole world ever since. All too frequently in our history, protesters have suffered persecution and suppression after exercising their rights under our constitution by police forces of the state. Later, these protesters have come to be recognized as the heroes they really were. Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance. Fighting the NSA today is the latest chapter in the struggle to uphold the Bill of Rights, and most especially today, the fourth amendment which goes like this:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Today, under the banner of anti-terrorism, the NSA has expanded its witch hunt to include all of us and is snooping on every phone call and internet exchange that takes place, with its drones ready to kill anyone anywhere in the world they designate as an enemy.

Fighting the NSA today is the same fight that has been going on since HUAC.  The anti-communist bias of those days was forced into the schools and newpapers, working its way towards the suppression of opposition and free expression of ideas. Today, the NSA has expanded the unconstitutional use of state power to unimaginable heights.  The fight aganist the NSA will not end until we dismantle the inquisitorial power that has grown like a cancer inside the state.  Abolish the NSA!


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