Memorial for Aaron Swartz today in NYC at 4

Today in New York City, there will be a memorial for Aaron Swartz, the internet activist who tragically killed himself last week at the age of 26. The memorial is open to the general public. Details can be found here.

Aaron was my friend and, like so many, I am heartbroken by his death. I am also disturbed and outraged at the abusive treatment he suffered at the hands of power-mad federal prosecutors, which played a large role in his suicide. Last year, I wrote about the charges against him here. However, the single best piece I’ve read about the case, which looks at it in the context of increasingly authoritarian behavior by American prosecutors and the war over the democratization of information in the U.S., was Marcy Wheeler’s article for AlterNet.

If you support opening an inquiry into Aaron’s prosecution and reforming the laws he was charged with breaking, you can sign this petition.

Aaron’s life touched so many, and produced a number of beautiful tributes, such as this one, and this one.

In Aaron’s brief time on this earth, he made a difference. May his restless intellectual energy, his passionate idealism, and his indelible sweetness continue to inspire us all.

I wish him peace. I am sure that he would wish us justice.

UPDATE: Here is some news about the continuing fall-out Aaron’s death is having on the political aspirations of the Javert-like U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz (H/T: Lawyers, Guns & Money’s Erik Loomis). I won’t say more, but when a press conference ends with tears and the words, “‘Does anyone else have any questions, because if not, I’m done,” it’s not hard to guess how it went.

Sadly, though, nothing will bring Aaron back. Ever.

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee