In what is an unusual occurrence given today’s political climate, people with vastly different views about the role of government marched in solidarity on Saturday against a common foe: Domestic spying by our government.
Protesters marched on Capitol Hill in Washington on Saturday to protest the U.S. government’s online surveillance programs, whose vast scope was revealed this year by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.
People carried signs reading: “Stop Mass Spying,” “Thank you, Edward Snowden” and “Unplug Big Brother” as they gathered at the foot of the Capitol to demonstrate against the online surveillance by the National Security Agency.
…The march attracted protesters from both ends of the political spectrum as liberal privacy advocates walked alongside members of the conservative Tea Party movement in opposition to what they say is unlawful government spying on Americans.
Although many of these activists were probably unaware of it, they were all marching against the unchecked power of big government. And that’s good to see.
Some people have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade, even though it’s the most provocative thing in the world, and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another. And the reason is, that’s freedom. Freedom of speech. In America, you have the right to be stupid. If you want to be. …Now, I think that’s a virtue. That’s something worth fighting for.Secretary of State John Kerry • Speaking to a group of German students, on the first overseas trip of his tenure as head of the State Department. Kerry’s allusion to Supreme Court precedent defending the right to offensive parades is no doubt a reference to cases like NSPA v. Skokie, which in 1977 upheld the right of Nazis to hold a march in Skokie, Illinois, where 1 in 6 residents were holocaust survivors. That right, Kerry argued, is virtuous and quintessentially American, despite the terrible emotional toll that may result from such offensive expressions — “the right to be stupid.” source