About 70 people gathered at The Square on Thursday to protest U.S. government surveillance that they argue violates the Fourth Amendment forbidding unreasonable searches and seizures.
The rally, part of a national nonpartisan effort that calls itself Restore the Fourth, was one of dozens in cities across the country.
The group organized following recent revelations growing out of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s document leaks. The leaks have revealed how the agency collects large amounts of Internet and telephone data on Americans.
Members of the Charlotte group handed out fact sheets and pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution to passers-by.
Brian LaBombard, one of the local organizers, said people were generally receptive. “The majority I saw think it’s something that should be discussed,” he said. “The issue affects everybody. It goes across party lines.”
Restore the Fourth is calling for Congress to reform national laws, including the Patriot Act, which was passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The group wants the law to be clear that blanket surveillance of Internet activity and phone records of U.S. residents is prohibited by law.
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