In case you haven’t heard, a big protest march in Washington DC is being planned for October 26, 2013. The demand: for the U.S. government to stop its massive warrantless surveillance programs that spy on the activities of hundreds of millions of innocent, law-abiding people. If you’re interested, come on down to DC for a march to Capitol Hill at Noon on 10/26. I’ll be there, and it would be great to meet up with you there.
According to the main website for the march, rally.stopwatching.us, the 10/26 DC protest is supported by “more than 100” groups, with a handful of the most prominent supporting organizations placed right at the top:
Listing the names of these organizations on the protest’s webpage is nice, since it indicates some sort of legitimacy to people who already know about the protest. But that’s the thing: this list placed for people who already know about the protest in the first place. What’s much more important is that these organizations prominently promote the march on their own web pages and direct their followers to show up for the DC march.
Are the top 15 listed supporting organizations doing everything they can to support the October 26 demonstration? Do they mention and link to the march on the front pages of their own websites? I decided to check and find out. Results are shown below.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org: YES!
Free Press (freepress.net): YES!
FreedomWorks (freedomworks.org) — NO. There’s absolutely no mention of the protest on FreedomWorks’ front webpage, and no mention on their secondary “Take Action” page either.
American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org) — NO. There’s absolutely no mention of the protest on the home page of the ACLU, and no mention on their secondary “Action” page either.
Competitive Enterprise Institute (cei.org) — NO. There’s absolutely no mention of the protest on the home page of the CEI, just a picture of one of its lobbyists looking smug in a business suit.
RestoreTheFourth (restorethefourth.net) — YES!
Center for Democracy & Technology (cdt.org) — NO. There’s absolutely no mention of the protest on the home page of the CDT, and no mention of the protest on its blog either.
Demand Progress (demandprogress.org): YES!
Mozilla (mozilla.org) — NO. There’s absolutely no mention of the protest on Mozilla’s home page.
Public Knowledge (publicknowledge.org) — NO. There’s absolutely no mention of the protest on the Public Knowledge home page. Instead, they promote their own sympathetic story about a cell phone company.
Fight For the Future (fightforthefuture.org) — NO. Just… no. It’s not there.
Libertarian Party (lp.org) — NO. No promotion of the protest whatsoever on LP’s front page.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee (bordc.org) — NO. The Committee hasn’t placed any promotion of the protest on its home page. Then again, the Committee doesn’t seem to have updated anything on its home page since August.
Students for Liberty (studentsforliberty.org/) — NO. Students for Liberty is busy promoting its upcoming well-funded Toronto conference, but it has nothing to say about the October 26 protest in Washington, DC.
It’s time for all hands on deck. If you’re an individual who knows about next month’s protest and supports it, by all means spread the word. Write a blog post; fill the #O26 hashtag. But individuals are not enough. It’s great to see some officially-supportive groups prominently promoting the protest on their own webpages, but it’s unsupportable to have some other organizations basking in the glow of a movement without at the very least lending some web space to promote that movement’s largest national demonstration.