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[liberationtech] Tragic News: Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Sheila Parks sheilaruthparks at
Sun Jan 13 08:34:58 PST 2013

Thank you, Shava, for organizing a vigil.

I work on Mon and Tues

When do you think you will do the one at MIT or wiil that be right 
after the Courthouse one on Tuesday?

And thank you to all of you for discussing this tragedy

I don't often comment on this list but I am so glad to be here for 
this discussion

I do blame MIT and the US Attorneys


At 11:23 AM 1/13/2013, you wrote:

>This is what I understand of Aaron's action.
>First, to be clear, JSTOR settled with Aaron last summer.
>Aaron was trying to raise consciousness around their model.  JSTOR 
>does not pay out a penny to the author or the author's host 
>institution.  They do not pay royalties to the research funders - 
>often the taxpayer, so maybe you and me.  In other circumstances 
>this would make the work public domain.
>The only money goes to the paper journal publisher.  That is the 
>firewall consortium JSTOR represents.
>That is the message Aaron meant to amplify with what he likely saw 
>as political/ethical art performance civil disobedience.
>Personally I think if he had not been on federal radar for 
>organizing SOPA/PIPA nothing more would have come from it as a 
>Harvard-connected white academic of a certain status.
>But as it is, he faced seven figures in damages and three decades in 
>hard time even after he settled with JSTOR.
>This is the way my family has observed activists attempted to be 
>neutralized by the immune system of the federal government since 
>Eugene Debs.  I have three generations of witness.
>My instinct is that when you see resources expended out of 
>proportion, look for the proportionate end.  Aaron was not being 
>chilled for his potential in copying files, I suspect.  He just 
>handed them something for which he could be charged.
>We can't let it go without response just because it is classic and 
>chronic.  I am organizing a vigil at 1 Courthouse in Boston 2pm 
>Tuesday, probably small, and we'll follow on from that at MIT.
>Federal Prosecutor Ortiz does not seem like a monster in general, 
>and there is hope for some good nonviolent ends out of this.
>Feedback welcome.
>Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at: 

Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
Watertown, MA  02472
617 744 6020
sheila at

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