Fight for the Future


Fight for the Future statement regarding withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

Posted 10:09 EST on January 23, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 23, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

CNN is reporting that Donald Trump’s first executive action will be to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. It’s important for the public to understand the context of how the TPP was defeated. By the time the deal came up for a vote in Congress late last year, all the leading Presidential candidates opposed it, due to widespread opposition from across the political spectrum, sparked by a grassroots, years-long, international movement. This piece in The Guardian chronicles some of that history.

Fight for the Future, the digital rights group who organized many of the largest protests against the TPP in the United States, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:

“The victory against the TPP belongs to the people, not to Donald Trump or any other politician.

An unprecedented international movement of people and organizations from across the political spectrum came together, and lead nothing short of an uprising that stopped an outright corporate takeover of our democratic process. Together we sounded the alarm, and made the TPP so politically toxic that no presidential candidate who wanted to be elected could support it.

The TPP would have lead to widespread Internet censorship, undermined human rights, and devastated our economy and the planet. Corporations attempted to turn the deal into a wishlist for policies they knew they could not pass through a more transparent process. But an unlikely band of labor unions and tech companies, environmentalists, hackers, and Tea Party patriots took on the world’s largest and most powerful corporations, and we won.

As we enter a new stage in history, let the movement that stopped the TPP serve as a reminder to the incoming administration: we the people are organized and powerful. We will not tolerate attacks on our basic rights, whether they come from corporations or the government. If you come for our freedom, we will fight you and we will win.”

Fight for the Future has been instrumental in the movement against the TPP. They spearheaded the coalition behind StopFastTrack.com that drove hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls to Congress in opposition to Trade Promotion Authority legislation needed to pass the TPP, and organized creative stunts like flying blimps outside of fence-sitting Congress member’s offices. They organized thousands of websites for an online “Internet Vote” protest against the TPP, and sent “rubber stamps” to Republicans who were considering supporting Obama’s trade deal.

Most recently, the group lead the largest ground mobilizations against the TPP to date on the Rock Against the TPP concert tour, which featured an array of well known musicians and celebrities including Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, actress Evangeline Lilly, hip hop icon Talib Kweli, comedian Hari Kondabolu, and punk legends Anti-Flag, and Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys. The tour drew large crowds across the country and helped opposition to the TPP reach into the cultural mainstream, with high profile media coverage and a large multigenerational following.

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Fight for Future is best known for organizing the massive online protests against the SOPA internet censorship bill in 2012, and has since won major victories for net neutrality and against government surveillance. Learn more at https://www.fightforthefuture.org

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Chelsea Manning sentence commuted following massive public outcry from across the political spectrum

Posted 17:48 EST on January 17, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 17, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

The White House just announced that President Obama has commuted the majority of imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s sentence 35 year sentence. She will be released on May 17th, 2017 having already served more than 6 years, longer than any other whistleblower in U.S. history.

Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, who has been an ardent supporter of Chelsea’s and speaks to her on the phone on a regular basis, released the following statement:

“Chelsea’s release is massive victory for free speech, human rights, and democracy. As someone who has become friends with Chelsea over the last year, but has never had a chance to see her face or give her a hug, I’m overjoyed that she will be able to share her beautiful self with the world. She has so much to offer, and her freedom will be a testament to the power of grassroots organizing. I’m so excited for the world to get to know her as the compassionate, intelligent, and kind person who she is.”

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Background:

More than 100,000 people signed an official Whitehouse.gov petition, meeting the threshold to require a response from the President.

Hundreds of thousands have signed previous petitions organized by Fight for the Future and other groups decrying Chelsea’s treatment while in prison

The ACLU and more than a dozen prominent LGBT organizations sent a letter to President Obama calling for Chelsea’s commutation

Amnesty International sent a letter to President Obama, and supporters sent over 25,000 emails to the White House.

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama supporting clemency

Dozens of other human rights, free speech, government transparency, and civil liberties organizations have called for Chelsea’s release

A wide range of notable people have publicly supported Chelsea including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris C. Davis, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Sean Ono Lennon, REM lead singer Michael Stipe, comedian Margaret Cho, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,, and many others.

Learn more at FreeChelsea.com, and follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xychelsea

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The Internet Wants to Give Chelsea Manning A Hug

Posted 07:58 EST on January 16, 2017
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 16, 2017
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Thousands are joining online #HugsForChelsea campaign, posting photos with arms outstretched calling for President Obama to grant commutation request

Following reports that Chelsea Manning is on President Obama’s “short list” for a possible commutation, the Internet has exploded with support for the imprisoned transgender transparency advocate. Over the weekend, thousands of people started taking part in a spontaneous #HugsForChelsea campaign, posting photos of themselves with their arms outstretched as if waiting to give Chelsea Manning a hug, calling for President Obama to grant her clemency. Some prominent individuals including Michael Stipe of REM have joined the effort.

See a selection of #HugsForChelsea photos here: http://imgur.com/a/GS2Tw

See the landing page for the campaign here.

“Chelsea has so much love and support coming from people across the political spectrum,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, who posted the first #HugsForChelsea photo, “She has suffered enough. People are coming out of the woodwork to speak out. President Obama needs to do the right thing and free her now. After getting to know her as one of her supporters over the last year, I personally can’t wait to give her a hug.”

“As President Obama’s days in office wind down, people from all walks of life are standing in solidarity with Chelsea and urging the President to save her before it is too late,” said Chase Strangio, Chelsea’s ACLU attorney. “After years of suffering in prison under horrific conditions including long stretches of solitary confinement, the denial of health care for gender dysphoria and arbitrary punishments including for attempting suicide, Chelsea needs to be set free before this treatment results in her death.”

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Background:

More than 100,000 people signed an official Whitehouse.gov petition, meeting the threshold to require a response from the President.

Hundreds of thousands have signed previous petitions organized by Fight for the Future and other groups decrying Chelsea’s treatment while in prison

The ACLU and more than a dozen prominent LGBT organizations sent a letter to President Obama calling for Chelsea’s commutation

Amnesty International sent a letter to President Obama, and supporters sent over 25,000 emails to the White House.

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama supporting clemency

Dozens of other human rights, free speech, government transparency, and civil liberties organizations have called for Chelsea’s release

A wide range of notable people have publicly supported Chelsea including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris C. Davis, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Sean Ono Lennon, REM lead singer Michael Stipe, comedian Margaret Cho, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,, and many others.

Learn more at FreeChelsea.com, and follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xychelsea

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Boston Police scrap plan to purchase social media surveillance software following public backlash over civil liberties

Posted 08:42 EST on January 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 14, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

The Boston Police Department announced yesterday that – for now – they will not be moving ahead with their plan to spend $1.4 million on social media monitoring software. The announcement comes amid growing public outcry about the plan, which would have given local police Orwellian capabilities to constantly scan and analyze online speech in the area.

“This is a huge victory and offers a glimmer of hope for our basic rights at a time when it is in short supply,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, a group that led efforts to oppose the BPD’s surveillance aspirations, “Mass surveillance programs like the one the Boston Police intended to launch don’t actually make us safer, but they have a profoundly chilling effect on freedom of speech and our basic civil rights.”

Last month, digital rights group Fight for the Future and a dozen other civil liberties organizations sent a letter to the mayor and city council calling for them to halt the plan. In coordination with the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU, they also collected thousands of signatures on a petition from Bostonians opposed to the deal.

When the Boston Globe issued a misguided endorsement of the BPD plan, Greer wrote a rebuttal, which was widely shared. BPD drew even more criticism on the plan when it was revealed that they had bent the rules in the Boston Trust Act in order to hand over at least 9 people to federal immigration officials for deportation, violating a city policy preventing cops from getting involved in immigration enforcement.

“City governments and law enforcement agencies around the country should take note of what happened here in Boston. The public will not allow them to waste our tax dollars on dangerous tools that won’t make us safer but will enable mass discrimination and violations of our rights,” Greer added.

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Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit best known for organizing the largest online protests in history against SOPA, for net neutrality, and against government surveillance. Learn more at FightForTheFuture.org or follow us on Twitter at @fightfortheftr

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Chelsea Manning reportedly on President Obama’s “short list” for Commutation

Posted 08:55 EST on January 11, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 11, 2016
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, press@fightforthefuture.org

Hundreds of thousands of petition signers, dozens of LGBTQ and human rights organizations have condemned U.S. government’s treatment of Chelsea, called for her release

NBC News is reporting that Chelsea Manning, who has served 7 years of a 35 year sentence, is on President Obama’s “short list” for commutation.

Chelsea Manning’s attorney at the ACLU, Chase Strangio, said:

“The Obama administration has done many commendable things to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, but in the case of Chelsea Manning they have systematically mistreated her and denied her access to medically recommended gender-related health care. Chelsea won’t survive another 5 years in prison, much less another 30. President Obama has 9 days to do the right thing and commute her sentence. The world is watching, and we hope that he stands on the side of justice, and that his legacy will be one of standing up for trans people’s rights, not having extinguished one of our community’s brightest lights.”

Chelsea’s Appellate Counsels Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward said:

“As Chelsea’s appellate counsel we urge President Obama to act now and commute her sentence to time served. Her appeal will take years. It is past time to start caring for a Soldier who stood up for all of us.”

Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, said:

“Chelsea Manning is a compassionate, thoughtful, brilliant human being whose actions have always been motivated by the same thing: her desire to help people and make the world a better place. She has suffered enough. President Obama should act now to right this wrong before it’s too late.”

If the NBC News report is accurate and President Obama moves to commute Manning’s sentence, he will be responding to overwhelming public outcry about Chelsea’s mistreatment while incarcerated.

-More than 100,000 people signed an official Whitehouse.gov petition, meeting the threshold to require a response from the President.

-Hundreds of thousands have signed previous petitions organized by Fight for the Future and other groups decrying Chelsea’s treatment while in prison

-The ACLU and more than a dozen prominent LGBT organizations sent a letter to President Obama calling for Chelsea’s commutation

-Amnesty International sent a letter to President Obama, and supporters sent over 25,000 emails to the White House

-Dozens of other human rights, free speech, government transparency, and civil liberties organizations have called for Chelsea’s release

-A wide range of notable people have publicly supported Chelsea including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris C. Davis, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Sean Ono Lennon, REM lead singer Michael Stipe, comedian Margaret Cho, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,, and many others.

Learn more at FreeChelsea.com, and follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xychelsea

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