Friends and Family of Aaron Swartz to Hold Public Memorial Service in NYC

By Devon Glenn 

The untimely death of internet activist and former reddit employee Aaron Swartz evoked the sympathy and outrage of many who felt that the 26-year-old programmer was treated unfairly by the law.

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, there will be a free public memorial service for Swartz from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (EST) at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in Manhattan.

When Swartz took his own life on January 11, he faced up to 35 years in prison for using MIT’s network to illegally download millions of scholarly documents from the JSTOR archives in order to make them free to the public. Although MIT and JSTOR ultimately settled with Swartz, the prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts continued to press charges.

Swartz’ friends and family members issued a public statement in response to the barrage of media attention and speculation that the news of his death inspired and have also set up a website in his memory.

Speakers at Swartz’ memorial service tomorrow will include his partner Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman as well as David Segal, Ben Wikler, Roy Singham, Doc Searls, Edward Tufte, David Isenberg, Holden Karnofsky, Tom Chiarella and other friends.  In addition, there will be a performance from OK Go’s Damian Kush.

A livestream during the service and a video after the service will be available at