July 4th McPherson Square protests target U.S. government

A couple hundred people united in anger at the United States government on this Independence Day.

They are angry with the National Security Administration for monitoring phone and e-mail communication.

“It seems that the government is collecting huge troves of Americans communication whether phone calls or internet,” says Robert McCaw, spokesperson for Center for American Islamic Affairs.

The biggest cheer at this event at McPherson Square in D.C. were for the man who revealed the NSA’s actions, leaker turned international fugitive Edward Snowden.

“I would say he is a hero because he is trying to let us know what our government is doing in secret,” says Erik Sperling, a protester.

This protest coincides with dozens of other similar events planned across the country.

“We are bringing people out to raise awareness about the fourth amendment which we think is being violated by the NSA spying,” says Nathan White, spokesperson.

But the demonstrations pale in comparison with other anti-government rallies in the past. Some here say they're greatest challenge is spreading outrage about a program which supporters say has foiled numerous terrorist plots.

“With increased government regulation yes you can make us safer but you lose out on liberty,” says Alexandria resident Thomas Schellenberg. “And America was founded on the fact that we put liberty above all else.”