Aaron Swartz Death Anniversary Prompts March Against Corruption

January 10, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Aaron Swartz died on January 11, 2013, and friends and supporters are planning a march across New Hampshire to honor the late free-information activist. 

Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, was arrested in 2011 on charges of breaking and entering into MIT, and was later charged with counts of wire fraud and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Two days after the prosecution denied an attempted plea bargain, Swartz was found dead in his apartment in Brooklyn. The 26-year-old had committed suicide.

Called the New Hampshire Rebellion, the march is also on the 15th anniversary of part of the walk of Granny D. The 88-year-old in 1999 walked across the United States with a sign that said “Campaign Finance Reform” on her chest.

“We are going to continue Granny D’s walk. Fifteen years after she began, we will continue — not across America, but across New Hampshire,” the march organizers say on their website. “Beginning on the day that Aaron Swartz  — one of this generation’s greatest anti-corruption fighters — died, and ending on the day that Granny D was born, we will cross the state from the top to the bottom, recruiting as many citizens as we can to Granny D’s cause. And then we will ask every recruit to ask every presidential candidate in the 2016 primary just one question: What will you do to end this corruption?”

Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School, elaborated on the purpose of the march in The Atlantic, saying that Swartz convinced him to take up the cause against corruption in campaign funding, and he has since written three books and given over 300 lectures about it.

“ut the walk across New Hampshire is not a lecture tour,” he wrote. “It is a chance for all of us to talk about this issue, person to person, one citizen at a time. Most politicos believe it is not possible to convince ordinary voters to care about this issue. I believe these experts are wrong. Over the next two weeks, and twice more before the 2016 primary, as we walk across the state, we’ll see.”

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