From remarks presented by at the Emergency Forum at Cooper Union on June 19, 2013.
Edward Snowden’s actions reveal not just the vast repressive technology, but also the power even a single person acting on their conscience can have to challenge and change the whole political landscape.
The reality is that this system which daily grinds up humanity from the killing fields of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the death trap factories of Bangladesh, depends on people. People are the system’s Achilles’ heel. We here have the responsibility to awaken and arouse that latent power of the people as we confront not only authority but the thinking of the people that justifies great crimes in the name of protecting privilege — that cripples the conscience and political sights of those who could and should be part of changing the world.
We can and must do much, yet we can only do so by truthfully challenging the thinking of many people in this country. Helping people break free from a framework that leads to complicity with war crimes and to passively accept a massive government dragnet program directed against everyone—total surveillance—in the hands of a government that has repeatedly shown that their repressive power will only be used against the interests of the people.
Read the full speech at revcom.us.