Lessons Learned from "Restore the Fourth"

rallygoersI learned several important lessons from the young organizers of the "Restore the Fourth" rally in Klyde Warren Park on Independence Day. As soon as it got started, I realized that somebody had figured out a way how to tap into the latent activism of "generation y" white youth, because they had 80 people there before I left. Nearly all of them were Anglos in their 20s. I knew almost none of them, because the "usual suspects" who hit the streets often mostly weren't there. I think I knew 5 people out of 80! I don't think they knew each other, either.

On Saturday the 6th I had Michael Wigington, one of the organizers, on my "Workers Beat" radio talk show on KNON 89.3 FM and www.knon.org. Michael said he didn't know most of them, either. Michael also explained to me and the radio audience that "Restore the Fourth" doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Independence Day. They refer to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It guards against "unreasonable search and seizure." If we can believe whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Michael and I do, then the U.S. government has gone far beyond their constitutional limits in spying on Americans.

Michael said they were, using high technology, committing millions of felonies every day. He also told me what I didn't know that government agents are taking photos of our letters as they go through the postal system! AND, he said that the English newspaper The Guardian, which printed a lot of Edward Snowden's revelations, is being blocked on U.S. government computers!

I kind of wanted to know how MIchael knew all this, but I began to remember that I have done a little bit research, too. My research into Generation Y indicated that they are the most computer-savvy people the world has ever known. They tend to be alienated and hard to bring together, but are extremely knowledgeable. They have dimished regard for people with fewer technology skills. When something does push them together, as something has in several world hot spots, they can use their technological skills to great effect to focus tremendous political power. Government spying has apparently become the present catalyst.

Michael told me that there were over 100 demonstrations on Independence Day. Some of them were outside the United States! He told me that the effort to rein in government spying is only just beginning, and that there will be another event in Klyde Warren Park at 11 AM on July 20th. He said that more and more young people from a wider and wider range of demographics will come together to save democracy.

Girl with Rrestore the 4th sign

He convinced me, too.


--Gene Lantz











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