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[liberationtech] Tragic News: Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Sun Jan 13 11:21:20 PST 2013

I was thinking the MIT meeting would be an evening sometime later in the
week, but I wanted to see who showed up Tuesday, and if I could get a small
committee together so maybe a later announcement?

I wanted to see if I could get an MIT person who could schedule a room.


On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 11:34 AM, Sheila Parks
<sheilaruthparks at>wrote:

> 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
> Sheila
> 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.
>> Yrs,
>> --
>> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
> Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
> Founder
> Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
> Watertown, MA  02472
> 617 744 6020
> www.handcountedpaperballots.**org <>
> sheila@** <sheila at>
> --
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:


Shava Nerad
shava23 at
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