For Immediate Release
The Yes Men, firstname.lastname@example.org
Obama Pardons Snowden; Bi-Partisan Crowd Goes Wild
WASHINGTON - On Saturday, a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles Convention Center saw Edward Snowden make a surprise in-person public appearance, his first on U.S. soil since receiving a pardon from President Obama last week. The crowd at the bi-partisan event 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 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
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.