Doctors from the Semmelweis Society International played a leading role in organizing the event, along with the civil rights whistleblower advocates. Prominent organizations included the The Veterans Affairs Whistleblower Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Public Citizen. Betsy Combier, secretary to the IAW, also represented the E-Accountability Foundation. Linda Lewis, chair of Whistleblowers USA, played a special role.
The meeting was suggested by advisor Jeffrey Wigand, and was inspired by Paul Revere and other world leaders, the group declared truth-telling as patriotic today as Revere’s midnight ride to Concord. Abraham Lincoln enacted the first whistle-blower laws during the civil war, and Martin Luther King’s dream inspired civil rights whistleblowers.
The IAW alerted the countryside to grave dangers threatening the world, including a broad spectrum of government and private employers – health, environment, national security, civil rights, veterans, and more – have all banded together in a single meeting. The program was initiated and organized by the whistleblowers themselves. They were joined by more than 40 eminent public interest organizations. Hundreds of citizens took part.