Anonymous To Hold Boston Rally In Honor Of Aaron Swartz Tomorrow (Friday 1/25)


From today's Phoenix editorial:

This is the country we live in: not a single Wall Street executive has been indicted for crashing the world economy and gaming the financial system out of multi-billions in order to rip off an entire generation of hard-working Americans. Yet the United States Department of Justice, through the agency of its Boston US Attorney, saw fit — as a matter of routine practice — to legally pursue a young, idealistic Internet activist and internationally known computer scientist, Aaron Swartz, with a heavy-handed perseverance that can only be called sick and perverted. After a sadistic persecution by the office of US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and prosecutors Steve Heymann and Scott Garland, the 26-year-old Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment on January 11 . . .

. . . The case against Swartz — based on a narrow, almost unreasonable reading of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act — was hardly airtight. Swartz was accused of downloading, without authorization, a huge cache of scholarly articles from a nonprofit company, JSTOR. Contrary to what has been reported elsewhere, Swartz did not hack into the system — at least not as the term is widely understood . . .

As such, for those and other reasons, outraged and sympathetic members of Anonymous – you might have heard of them – will demonstrate tomorrow, Friday, January 25th, outside of the federal courthouse in Boston. Excerpt from the press release below. This is no permit for this rally, but it's safe to predict that there will be some serious numbers in attendance . . .

On January 11, 2013 the world and the web lost a hero. His name is Aaron Swartz and he was a gifted thinker, skilled programmer, writer and political activist who believed in the freedom of information for all. Unfortunately, it was that belief that led to his unfair prosecution by the Massachusetts Department of Justice. Aaron simply wanted to make free information and publicly funded research widely available to all. Any crime he may have committed was victimless and non-malicious. Despite this, the United States Department of Justice led by Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann harshly prosecuted Aaron with trumped up charges based on ridiculous interpretations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In the last days of his life Aaron faced up to 35 years in prison and over $1 million dollars in fines on 13 felony charges. His family and attorney both say that bullying from federal prosecutors contributed to his untimely death.

On January 25, 2013, we will hold a peaceful protest to bring #JusticeforAaronSwartz. If you believe in the freedom of information and condemn the gross misconduct with which the US Department of Justice acted, please join us. Together we can stand together and let our government know that federal bullying WILL NOT be tolerated.

Friday is your chance to help start to fill the void left by Aaron Swartz. He is no longer here to help pioneer the way but has left us a rich legacy with the tools and ideals necessary to do so. We will not be silenced as he was and we have the ability to continue his work in providing open access for all.

Please remember that this is a peaceful gathering to honor Aaron. See below for more info. Act respectively and do not block streets, doorways, or sidewalks. Remember that we will be on federal ground and we do not need more arrests among our Anonymous friends and affiliates.

We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.

Where: John Joseph Moakley Courthouse

1 Courthouse Way, Boston, MA 02210

When: Friday, January 25th at 3pm

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