Hundreds of people gathered at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in NY Saturday to pay tribute to Aaron Swartz. The 26-year-old was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment earlier this month. He killed himself just before facing a trial with 13 felony counts. He was accused of breaking into a wiring closet at MIT, hacking into the network, and downloading millions of scholarly articles on JSTOR which he planned to freely distribute.
Speakers at the memorial remembered him as a precocious technologist, an erudite activist and an “Internet saint.” Robert Swartz told the gathering that his son “was killed by the government.” Reuters reported that Pete Seeger’s grandson, Kitama Jackson, read a note at the memorial from his grandfather that said: “These modern times are filled with such contradictions that experts are not agreed on what the future of the human race will be. But we can agree today that it was a tragedy for this brilliant young man to be so threatened that he hanged himself.”