Protestors demand privacy

A protestor in Perth. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Protestors called for more privacy protection at rallies held around Australia on July 6 in response to the revelations that US’s National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on the communications of most internet users.

Sydney rally organiser Matt Watt from the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition said: “We demand freedom for Edward Snowden, a courageous whistleblower who revealed the wrongdoings by the NSA.

“The politicians and news reporters have not been focusing on the potential undermining of Australian internet users’ right to privacy, instead attacks have started on the whistleblower central to the latest revelations, Edward Snowden.”

Rallies were held in four cities and were supported by the Pirate Party, the Greens, the Socialist Alliance, the Sex Party, WikiLeaks Party, Electronic Frontiers Australia, WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance and the Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition.

About 60 people gathered in Pitt Street mall in Sydney. At the start of the rally it was announced that Venezuela and Nicaragua have both offered asylum to Snowden, which was met by cheers from the crowd. The rally then marched through the mall.

About 200 rallied outside the state library in Melbourne. A message of support from Julian Assange was read out to the crowd and the rally concluded with a presentation from US Iraq war veteran and anti-war activist Vincent Emanuele.

In Brisbane, about 100 people met in Brisbane Square to hear from speakers before marching through Queen St mall. About 120 gathered at Perth’s cultural centre where the crowd listened to speakers.

Margarita Windisch speaks at the Melbourne rally against PRISM

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