Some protestors brought "Anonymous" masks to conceal their identities, but many were happy to stand up for their right to protest and march through the streets of Manhattan. Only a handful had their faces covered.
Members of the press were present to take photos and interview participants. People of all ages were preparing to march through New York's streets, from the very young to college students to elderly folk.
Some banners were more clear-cut. Some demanded that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should resign for allegedly lying to Congress, while another insisted on more oversight for the intelligence services.
More "Anonymous" masks, but people mostly wore these on the back of their head. Almost no protestors were afraid to display their identity in regard to a matter they believe to be of the utmost importance.
This large blue banner's "Yes We Scan" is a play on words based on President Obama's "Yes We Can" campaign slogan. Though the NSA's domestic and foreign wiretapping and surveillance program began under President Bush, Obama extended the program when he took office.
Protesters gathered to listen to speakers talk about civil liberties, and some of the talks had an immediately practical bent, covering how to protect one's self from searches and arrest during a demonstration.
Many were willing to speak to the press to discuss their views on how they feel about government surveillance. Most were Americans, who in some cases are unaffected by NSA spying, but a few foreign accents were heard throughout the crowd.
The weather was scorching hot, and the humidity was excruciating. But hundreds still took to the streets on a U.S. national holiday to declare government snooping as an infringement of their Fourth Amendment rights.