Crowds across the U.S. gathered Thursday to protest the federal government’s surveillance of the American public – recently highlighted by leaker Edward Snowden – as part of pro-Forth Amendment rallies, chanting “NSA go away!”
More than 400 people gathered in New York and Washington D.C., while around 300 people were estimated to be in San Francisco.
Protests were also scheduled in 100 other cities, according to the organizers, “Restore the Fourth,” who describe themselves as a grassroots, non-partisan movement. The organization estimated that national turnout would be around 10,000 people, Reuters reports.
“Our demands are very simple: We think these programs which violate the constitutional rights of Americans need to end,” Ben Doernberg, an organizer of the New York City protest, told Fox News.
The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unlawful search and seizure.
The online community also rallied around the protests Thursday, as websites like Boing Boing! Posted messages about the National Security Agency.
"Happy 4th of July! Immediately stop your unconstitutional spying on the world's internet users -- The People," a statement on the website said, according to Reuters.
The NSA said on its own website that it does “not object to any lawful, peaceful protest.”
“NSA and its employees work diligently and lawfully every day, around the clock, to protect the nation and its people,” the website said.