Civil rights leader, and current Congressman John Lewis, is now speaking out strongly in support of Ed Snowden
Asked in interview with the Guardian whether Snowden was engaged in an act of civil disobedience, Lewis nodded and replied: "In keeping with the philosophy and the discipline of non-violence, in keeping with the teaching of Henry David Thoreau and people like Gandhi and others, if you believe something that is not right, something is unjust, and you are willing to defy customs, traditions, bad laws, then you have a conscience. You have a right to defy those laws and be willing to pay the price."
"That is what we did," he added. "I got arrested 40 times during the sixties. Since I've been in Congress I've been arrested four times. Sometimes you have to act by the dictates of your conscience. You have to do it."
Later in the conversation, he notes how worrisome the surveillance program is, and relates it back to how the government treated Martin Luther King Jr. (with whom Lewis worked closely), using overly aggressive surveillance techniques to try to destroy activists and protest groups. As public perception seems to keep growing in support of Snowden, the defenders of the NSA program who are attacking Snowden are going to look increasingly isolated and out of touch.