Students of Glasgow University, this one is for you!
Today you have taken a stand against mass surveillance, for democracy and Edward Snowden by electing him as your rector.
As the BBC reports, “Mr Snowden received 3,124 votes in the first round and 3,347 in the second.”
The gesture is awesome and deserving of the respect of Mr Snowden’s supporters around the world as it expresses your, the students’, readiness to visibly “oppose mass surveillance and intrusion to our private lives”.
The result of the ballot demonstrates that you “stand in solidarity”, and that you “believe whistleblowers should be honoured and they’re heroes rather than traitors.” It is all the more meaningful in light of how Mr Snowden’s actions and disclosures have been received in the UK, where debate has been limited, where the Guardian and its editor have “come under pressure and intimidation“, and where very recently human rights lawyer Jesselyn Radack was detained and aggressively interrogated at Heathrow airport.
Mr Snowden said that he was “humbled by and grateful to the students of Glasgow University for this historic statement in defence of our shared values”. (Read the full statement on the “Edward Snowden for Rector” Facebook page.)
Today, you, the students at Glasgow University, have made it clear that you are not willing to stand silently by and watch while people’s liberties and rights come under threat. I, for one, have nothing but the deepest respect for, and solidarity with, this decision! You are an example to us all.