Andy Bichlbaum andy at asb.yeslab.org
Mon Oct 12 21:14:28 CEST 2015


 Check out the latest news, musings and events from the Yes Lab
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On Saturday, a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles Convention Center saw
Edward Snowden make a surprise in-person public appearance [6], his first
on U.S. soil since receiving a pardon from President Obama last week. The
crowd at the bi-partisan event [7] immediately burst into cheers, jumped to
their feet, and rushed in to take Snowden's photo. 

Sadly for everyone, "Snowden" was in fact a lookalike actor named David
Neale, and the real Snowden--who appeared shortly after on a live video
link and spoke for 45 minutes--was still in Russia, and hadn't been
pardoned at all. 

"The crowd's reaction demonstrates what would happen if Snowden were
honored instead of punished for what he did," said Chris Paine, an L.A.
filmmaker who was in attendance. 

US presidents have pardoned [8] thousands of people accused of or convicted
of crimes, often because their actions were deemed to be in the public
interest. "Edward Snowden's actions launched an extraordinary global debate
and led to the most significant reforms in intelligence oversight in a
generation," said Ben Wizner of the ACLU. "He should be thanked, not
charged with espionage and locked in a cage." 

During his talk, the real Snowden addressed a wide range of issues,
including the surveillance state's influence on free speech, how to stand
up against eroding civil liberties, and the wide (and wild) variety of NSA
programs built for warfare but now used to spy on U.S. citizens. 

Video and photos: yeslab.org/fauxden-media [6] 

Contact: The Yes Men, people at theyesmen.org 
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