In the Huffington Post, Cory Doctorow talks about the afterword that Aaron wrote for Homeland (the sequel to the incredible Little Brother).
This afterword is probably one of the best explanations of the spirit behind having an Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon every year.
From Cory Doctorow:
I knew I wanted an afterword from Aaron Swartz, who had the best techno-activist instincts of anyone I knew, and who I’d know since he was a little kid, and who was also being savagely victimized by the US government for his principled work. I’m devastated about what happened with Aaron. I asked him to write me a afterword in the form of a letter to a kid like himself, but who was 14 in the year 2013. What he gave me was a call-to-arms that made me want to rush to a barricade, and left no doubt that we both hoped for the same thing from this book: that it would inspire a generation of activists who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer when it came to freedom in the information age.
From the Afterword to Homeland by Aaron Swartz:
This is your life, this is your country — and if you want to keep it safe, you need to get involved…
The system is changing. Thanks to the Internet, everyday people can learn about and organize around an issue even if the system is determined to ignore it. Now, maybe we won’t win every time — this is real life, after all — but we finally have a chance.
But it only works if you take part. And now that you’ve read this book and learned how to do it, you’re perfectly suited to make it happen again. That’s right: now it’s up to you to change the system.
Let me know if I can help.