Stand for freedom!

Tuesday’s verdict for Bradley Manning was yet more proof that the US government is more interested in protecting those with power who commit crimes than those who reveal such crimes. Bradley Manning joins John Kiriakou, Brad Birkenfeld and others who have gone to jail for being whistleblowers.

The revelations by Edward Snowden, himself the target of the Obama’s war on whistleblowers, demonstrates that the US government is willing to trample on our 4th Amendment rights by creating a surveillance system that knows more about us than we know about ourselves. Yet this program has helped to stop, at best, a single terrorist attempt.

Here in Massachusetts, our own legislature is considering expanding the government’s power to wiretap us, even for small crimes such as marijuana possession. They aren’t doing much to counter the F grade they received in public access to information and state budgeting process by the 2012 Corruption Risk Report Card.

At our general meeting last Sunday, angered by our government’s inability to defend our rights, be transparent or solve the problems we face, we set ourselves the goal of getting more people to run for the Massachusetts legislature than any other party has in recent history.

It is an audacious goal, and one that no Massachusetts political party besides the Democrats and Republicans have tried. Indeed, as far as I have found, no Pirate Party anywhere has tried it in their own legislature. Yet, as Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party noted in his recent (freely downloadable) book, Swarmwise, it is better to pick goals that inspire.

We drafted a simple plan, a set of tasks for now, that we continue to update and will guide us in the year ahead.

We are up against very well funded organizations, but surprisingly little money is needed to effectively challenge them with active supporters, as the Swedish Pirates demonstrated when they got two Pirates into the European Parliament. Volunteering your time goes a long way.

Even if you don’t have time to volunteer, a contribution of $25 would help pay for the campaign and the other expenses we have. Freedom isn’t free ;-). We have to pay for printing, servers, software, event spaces, and we are an all volunteer organization full of people who pay for much of this stuff out of pocket. If everyone reading this gives even $10, our costs would be covered for the next 6 months. So skip the next latte and contribute to the movement!

We have plenty of events coming up: Pirate Picnic this Saturday, Cryptoparty at the BRICnic on Sunday, and another Cryptoparty on the 24th. We will also be at Freedom Rally on September 14th and 15th, and need volunteers for it.

The Democrats and Republicans are not making government accountable to you. They aren’t defending our freedoms or going after the criminals in government or corporations. Now is the time to stand up and defend your freedom and power over government!

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