Hundreds of people concerned for their privacy and opposed to NSA spying practices descended on the courtyard of the AT&T building in San Francisco last night on a clement winter evening.
The well-organized event, The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance, was flanked by police ironically attending to keep surveillance on the amassing crowd.
Former AT&T technician and government whistleblower, Mark Klein, took to the stage sharing his story of how he discovered his employer was in cahoots with the NSA.
Mr Klein told the assembled crowd that he had been tasked to work on the wire that would stream documents into a secret room and was shocked to find that both domestic and international customer activity was being tracked. “Here I am being forced to connect to a Big Brother machine,” he said.
The evening’s proceedings included ample video footage projected onto a windowless side wall of the AT&T building. The popular Police song: “Every Breath You Take” (I’ll be watching you) played and people sang along as the lyrics were displayed before them.
Media clips of TV news interviews with Mark Klein were shown as well as a clip of President Barack Obama’s address about the NSA which was robustly heckled. Passing cars during the city’s peak hour tooted their horns prompting an explosion of cheers and waving.