Aaron Swartz at first-ever PCCC team retreat, 2009. Washington, DC.

On Friday, programmer and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide. Today, as friends and family gather for his funeral, we are releasing the following statement on his passing:

“Today is the funeral of Aaron Swartz, who contributed so much to the launch of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and our technology during our first 20 months, from January 2009 to August 2010. Aaron joined our PCCC team with the goal of learning about effective online activism and went on to play an instrumental role in the fight for Wall Street reform and against SOPA. His suicide followed an over-zealous prosecution for a crime with no victims — by a Justice Department that has yet to prosecute the Wall Street bankers who destroyed our economy and harmed millions of lives. Our hearts go out to Aaron’s family and partner.

Aaron’s funeral will be held at 10am central at Highland Park Chabad Synagogue, 874 Central Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois 60035.


The Chicago Sun-Times quotes Swartz’s father on his death:

Aaron Swartz was “killed by the government,” his father, Robert Swartz said at a memorial service Tuesday morning for the 26-year-old tech genius who killed himself in the face of felony charges he’d stolen millions of files from MIT.

Swartz said his son was “hounded by the government, and MIT refused him.”

“He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles,” he said.

The Associated Press quotes Tim Berners-Lee:

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, director of the Safra Center for Ethics where Swartz was once a fellow, both spoke at the funeral.

‘‘We felt the indictment was nonsense and that he would be acquitted,’’ Berners-Lee told the newspaper after the service.


Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig and activist Ben …