Demand Progress works to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people by organising and leading grassroots lobbying. In particular, they focus on issues of civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform. The Web We Want Rapid Response grant supported Demand Progress Action to organise a major anti-surveillance rally in Washington, DC on October 26 2013.
The Web We Want funding went towards the coordination of rally logistics, including securing a permit, designing and producing banners, posters and other visual props; printing petitions; renting a sound amplification system; and hiring high-quality livestream capacity. The permit and sound amplification were necessary to hold the rally, while the visual aspects—posters, banners, and other props—created images that can inspire others towards action. Following the rally, the visuals helped to shift the conversation regarding NSA surveillance from a media-led discussion of Edward Snowden’s important, but individual, actions to a discussion about the agency of citizens, including broad-based opposition to surveillance and direct engagement with the legislative process on these issues. The high-quality livestream provided an avenue for the visuals constructed at the rally to reach more people than would otherwise be possible, and provided them with material to cut into videos for later distribution.