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'Restore the Fourth' protest takes place in Atlanta

Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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Protesters gather at the steps of the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta for the 'Restore the Fourth' rally on a rainy 4th of July.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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Rally participants listen to speakers at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta on the 4th of July.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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Approximately 100 people attended the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta on the 4th of July, the USA Independence Day national holiday.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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A participant in the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the GA State Capitol Building holds a sign for passing motorists to see.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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Standing in the rain, two women hold theirs signs while conversing with another person at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
06/14
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Two protesters hold signs at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally on July 4th at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
07/14
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Holding a rather graphic sign, a participant listens to speakers at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally in Atlanta on the 4th of July, the USA Independence Day national holiday.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
08/14
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Carrying an AR-15, a member of the Georgia Chapter of the Constitutional Security Force talks with another protester at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally in Atlanta in front of the Georgia State Capitol Building.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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Expressing their US Constitution 2nd Amendment rights and the Georgia right to open carry, these men stand in front of the Georgia State Capitol Building with various weapons while attending the 'Restore the Fourth' rally in Atlanta.
Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
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Standing in the center in white shorts and wearing an EFF cap, 'Restore the Fourth Atlanta' organizer Jake Schenberg listens to one of the participants speak at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally in front of the Georgia State Capitol Building on July 4th.
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The gentleman in the white t-shirt and gray pants talks to the crowd while pointing to printed excerpts from the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.
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'Restore the Fourth Atlanta' organizer Jake Schenberg at the rally in front of the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta on the 4th of July.
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A young man displays his sign at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta on July 4th.
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The rain comes down at the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta on the 4th of July.
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta
  • Restore the Fourth protest takes place in Atlanta

Roughly 100 people took part in the 'Restore the Fourth' rally that started at noon at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta to call on the US Government to adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the 4th Amendment.

Despite a forecast for heavy rain, approximately 100 people took part in the 'Restore the Fourth' rally at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta on the Fourth of July holiday to protest alleged unconstitutional surveillance by the NSA and to “demand that the government of the United States of America adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment”. [1]

The rally that started at noon was organized by Jake Schenberg, a student majoring in international studies at the University of Georgia. According to Schenberg, he got involved with the 'Restore the Fourth' (“RTF”) movement after stumbling across /r/restorethefourth/ on reddit.com on June 8, 2013. He worked as a national organizer with RTF until he stepped down “to try and make something happen in Atlanta”.

Schenberg said that RTF's purpose “is to protest the federal government's violation of our fourth amendment rights, the NSA's PRISM program being an example of a program which does this. We aim to pressure for political change through organizing marches and rallies, and coordinating efforts to pressure our representatives on these issues, be it through email and phone call campaigns, or more directly in the form of following our congressmen on the August 6th recess to ask them hard questions in town halls and other forums.”

I spoke with a gentleman from Suwanee, Georgia whose first name is Mark. He became interested in the NSA's surveillance activities as a result of the Snowden leaks[2] and found out about the RTF rally on reddit.com a couple of days before the rally.

I asked Mark how, if he could make changes, he would structure a security program that would provide for surveillance to keep us safe yet preserve our freedoms under the Constitution. He said that he felt that information collection should require a warrant if probable cause can be demonstrated. He said “I mean … if the government can ignore the laws ... that they don't like, that are inconvenient to them and they can just run right over the Constitution because, again, it's inconvenient then everything that we think we know about America is a lie”.

I asked him what he thought should happen to Edward Snowden and he replied: “What I'd like to see happen is I'd like to see our elected officials offer him immunity to testify. I'd like for him to be brought back to the United States, offered the protection that he needs to be able to come forward and say what he has to say ... and reveal the truth about any illegal activities. That's what we need to know. There needs to be transparency. We were promised that by the Obama administration, we haven't gotten it. So, I think they need to bring him back. There needs to be a congressional investigative committee to get to the bottom of it – find out exactly what's going on and put us back on the right track that protects the Constitution and the rights of American citizens”.

I asked a couple of young men who were wearing chest packs containing what appeared to be rifle magazines and pistols in holsters at their sides why they were wearing that gear to a rally protesting the NSA's collection of data. The first young man, who did not want to provide his name, replied: “They're [the 'Restore the Fourth' protesters] exercising their 1st Amendment right. They're protesting so they're using their 1st Amendment trying to protect their 4th Amendment. We're here with the 2nd Amendment to protect all of those others.”

The second young man, who also did not want to provide his name, added: “The simple thing is, it's liberty and freedom in general. It's not about picking and choosing what you like and don't like. Liberty is liberty and freedom is freedom. Either you are free or you are not. And without encouraging people to protect the Constitution as a whole, it's not just about the 4th Amendment and about them spying on us, it's about our rights as people and as human beings. And if we don't encourage people to protect all of their rights, no one will be able to, one day, possibly, as we've seen in [the] past, between people like Stalin, Mussolini, Lenin, Pol Pot, all disarmed their citizens and took away their rights to defend themselves and then committed the greatest atrocities ever seen by this planet on human beings.”[sic]

Both men identified themselves as students – one at a technical college and the other at a university.

I spoke with another man who was carrying an AR-15 rifle and who identified himself as a former US Marine and a member of the Georgia Chapter of the Constitution Security Force. I asked him why he was carrying weapons to a rally protesting the surveillance being conducted by the NSA. He responded: “ The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and it gives us the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms that shall not be infringed so as an American citizen, if I choose to walk around in Georgia with a weapon, I can and I should be able to.”

He continued with: “I'm going to invoke all of my constitutional rights but the reason why they [the 'Restore the Fourth' protesters] are here is to protest the 4th Amendment violations that are being committed across the country, on any given issue, are in my opinion illegal actions.[sic] And I would carry the rifle in the defense of these people to [express] their grievances on these 4th Amendment violations. And if Snowden is a traitor for speaking what he learned, or telling people about what he witnessed, the illegal crimes that were being committed, then he's a patriot and he should not be subject to ... eradication from a drone missile if he goes to another country. It's like from the 1st to the 10th, all of the amendments are being violated and we're moving in the wrong direction. And I would like to focus the attention on, like Ron Paul says, 'get back to the Constitution' and then we can come out here and celebrate freedom in the true fashion that we gained it for.”[sic] He finished by saying: “We haven't given up any rights before and we're not going to start now”.

Notes:
[1] http://www.restorethefourth.net/press/

[2] See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/edward-snowden, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden or search the web for Edward Snowden.

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