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we lost him. Yet his fight, our fight, lives on.

Aaron Swartz was an avid champion of internet freedom and open access with a brilliant mind. At the time of his death he was under indictment for his activism and was facing up to 50 years in prison for his so-called crimes. "Swartz was persecuted for the very rights and freedoms for which he stood, and that ultimately broke him."

Imagine.... it's heartbreaking... if he only knew what was to come just a few short months later.

Swartz’s fight for rights online has only been brought more intensely into focus in the year since his death, largely due to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. To see him talk about government spying in this documentary at a time before the Snowden leaks is especially chilling now. But thanks to Knappenberger’s documentary – and other actions being taken to remember the internet activist – the conversation he started can continue.
A forthcoming documentary is entitled The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. This clip was released today over at WIRED.

This clip is only 5:26" long, watch it, and consider.... this month, this year, ask yourself: what would Aaron do?

From the clip, Aaron on the NSA:

"It is shocking to think that the accountability is so lax that they don't even have sort of basic statistics about how big the spying program is. If the answer is, 'Oh, we're spying on so many people we can't possibly even count them,' then that's an awful lot of people."
In his honor and memory, activists continue the effort to promote and protect our rights with several direct action and events in coming weeks.

Join others for a worldwide day of activism coming up on Feb. 11: "The Day We Fight Back"  against mass surveillance.

The SOPA and PIPA protests were successful because we all took part, as a community. As Aaron once put it, everybody "made themselves the hero of their own story." We can set a date, but we need all of you, the users of the Internet, to make it a movement.
Another world is possible.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wake Up Jar (26+ / 0-)
    Think deeply about things.

    Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say.

    Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think.

    ~Aaron Swartz

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 09:00:12 AM PST

    •  Thanks LL for the diary (5+ / 0-)

      DOJ admits Aaron’s prosecution was political

      The DOJ has told Congressional investigators that Aaron’s prosecution was motivated by his political views on copyright.

      Many people speculated throughout the whole ordeal that this was a political prosecution, motivated by anything/everything from Aaron’s effective campaigning against SOPA to his run-ins with the FBI over the PACER database. But Aaron actually didn’t believe it was — he thought it was overreach by some local prosecutors who didn’t really understand the internet and just saw him as a high-profile scalp they could claim, facilitated by a criminal justice system and computer crime laws specifically designed to give prosecutors, however incompetent or malicious, all the wrong incentives and all the power they could ever want.

      But this HuffPo article, and what I’m hearing from sources on the Hill, suggest that that’s not true. That Ortiz and Heymann knew exactly what they were doing: Shutting up, and hopefully locking up, an extremely effective activist whose political views, including those on copyright, threatened the Powers That Be:

      For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan to Dover AF mortuary, "God bless the cause of "The Good War" for which they died" - As if any war can be called Good in its 13th year, America's longest war.

      by allenjo on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 10:25:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a terrible thing. The Day we fight back, (13+ / 0-)

    Feb 11th.  Thanks for this notice.  Maybe something good can happen this year for freedom.  And democracy.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 09:41:04 AM PST


    In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. A year ago this month one of that movement's leaders, Aaron Swartz, tragically passed away.

    Today we face a different threat, one that undermines the Internet, and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.
    If Aaron were alive, he'd be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action.

    Now, on the eve of the anniversary of Aaron's passing, and in celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA that he helped make possible, we are announcing a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.

    For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan to Dover AF mortuary, "God bless the cause of "The Good War" for which they died" - As if any war can be called Good in its 13th year, America's longest war.

    by allenjo on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 10:21:54 AM PST

  •  From MIT - Chomsky "On Anarchism" (7+ / 0-)

    he explains the term and the ongoing struggle against power

    didn't realize that everyone was against the rebels in the Spanish Civil war

    a lot of history including US foreign policy

    and the ongoing need to resist

    video which was shown again today on Book TV

    "On Anarchism"

    Noam Chomsky

    About the Program on CSPAN

    Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, examines the political ideology of anarchism; from its history and early proponents to the author's thoughts on its current usage and practicality.  Noam Chomsky speaks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    click on "watch this program" on the right

    •  The rebels were technically the fascists (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, Shockwave

      The revolutionists were anarchists and they were the ones who initiated the resistance towards the Francoist controlled Spanish military who were attempting a coup, while the Republic stood by initially paralyzed into inaction.

      This is what happens with a top down centrally controlled army: The generals can simply use the command structure to take over the host country. While the anarchists, and the Republic, and the Communists worked to defeat the fascists, all sides worked to defeat the anarchists.

      A non-intervention pact was created (and enforced by their navies) by England, France and the US, which basically helped the fascists. It prevented help to the Spanish Republic and the resistance forces, while looking the other way while industry aided the fascists, and while Germany and Italy openly aided the fascists with arms and troops and supplies. And the fascists were aided in many other ways by the US, France, and England (despite pretenses to neutrality), too much to go into in a short post.

      Most of these governments wanted the Franco to win the war. The US even allowed some corporations to help the fascists with sales of needed items, mostly massive amounts of oil, trucks, and credit. The war probably would not have been won by the fascists without help from US industry. And this was under FDR's watch.

      On 6 January, the first opportunity after the winter break, both houses of Congress in the United States passed a resolution banning the export of arms to Spain.[66][nb 4] Those in opposition to the bill, including American socialists, communists and even many liberals, suggested that the export of arms to Germany and Italy should be halted also under the Neutrality Act of 1935, since foreign intervention constituted a state of war in Spain. Cordell Hull, continued to doubt the extent of German and Italian operations, despite evidence to the contrary.[67] At the same time, the automakers Ford, Studebaker, and General Motors provided a total of 12,000 trucks to the Nationalists. After the war was over, José Maria Doussinague, who was at the time undersecretary at the Spanish Foreign Ministry said, "without American petroleum and American trucks, and American credit, we could never have won the Civil War."[63]
      The Stalinist Communists in Russia who supplied weapons to the Republican side diverted the better arms away from the Anarchists (a large, well organized, disciplined worker population -- not some little ragtag bunch as uninformed Americans might imagination) who had been the group which began the resistance and were an essential, important force, so the Anarchists were left with rusting, inadequate, poor weapons, and yet they fought on bravely. The communist party stabbed the anarchists in the back at every opportunity, in betrayal after betrayal, determined to undermine a real People's Revolution.

      Thus, yes, all sides, the capitalists, the fascists, the communists, the Spanish Republic, all worked to keep the best chance in history for a truly democratic, egalitarian, anarchist form of social organization. The collectives and their federations during the nearly three year period were in vast numbers, including dozens and dozens of collectives, and federations of collectives, which represented most industry, since the heart of the anarchist region was industrial Catalonia.

      The CNT anarchist union was well organized, and for almost three years, there was worker self-management of the workplaces, collectivized farms, and the collectives provided free health care, pensions for retirees after age 50, equality in wage vouchers, in some places actually eliminated all money, and guess what? People loved it. Many looked forward to going to work for the first time.

      Production (the food supply, etc) actually increased. And thus, consumption increased. The anarchist ran the steel mills, built airplane engines (this was the '30s), ran lumber mills, paper mills, all forms of industry, and operated the telephone exchange, they built hundreds of new schools in that period, hundreds of more modern, cleaner bakeries (bread was the staple), even collectivized shoe-shine workers, hair salon workers, and it was a success.

      This was on its way to being the most successful non-authoritarian, libertarian anti-capitalist society in history on a large scale, but the capitalists, fascists, and the goddamn Stalinist Communists tried to defeat it, because Marxist-Leninists and Anarchists have some disagreements over how to structure socialism, namely one prefers a decidedly un-socialistic, authoritarian, top down central government (some call this state capitalism), while the other prefers a bottom up decentralized, non-hierarchical organization using federations of worker assemblies and participatory communities.

      And this history has been distorted and suppressed by the capitalist and communist press.

      "The moment some people participating in an action feel they have more of a moral commitment to those who are threatening to attack them than they do to another activist, the game is over." -David Graeber

      by ZhenRen on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 12:19:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aaron Swartz, a pioneer of Internet activism (3+ / 0-)

    As a teenager, Aaron Swartz was a computer-programming prodigy with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. After emerging as a pioneer of Internet activism, education, and politics, he was indicted on multiple federal charges in 2011 and 2012, setting off a complex chain of events that left the Internet community reeling.

    Shortly thereafter, at the age of 26, Swartz was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Brooklyn apartment. His family, friends, and supporters immediately blamed the prosecutors of the case, who aimed to put him in jail for 35 years and brand him a convicted felon for life.

    Swartz was persecuted for the very rights and freedoms for which he stood, and that ultimately broke him.

    For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan to Dover AF mortuary, "God bless the cause of "The Good War" for which they died" - As if any war can be called Good in its 13th year, America's longest war.

    by allenjo on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 11:48:14 AM PST

  •  Since he's gone, I guess we'll have to do it now (3+ / 0-)

    For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan to Dover AF mortuary, "God bless the cause of "The Good War" for which they died" - As if any war can be called Good in its 13th year, America's longest war.

    by allenjo on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 11:55:16 AM PST

  •  A brief statement why we need to fight back (3+ / 0-)

    is my diary here with link to The Day We Fight Back site.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 12:13:15 PM PST

  •  And this as bipartisan as a cause can be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine

    California Legislators Introduce Bill To Banish NSA

    And on the other side we also have bipartisanship.

    Interestingly the RedState fascists seem to "dislike" Swartz and are unsure what to do with mass surveillance.

    Posted on Facebook.

    Keep up the fight Lady Libertine.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:32:27 AM PST

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