The The of Aaron Swartz is a sobering moment in the journey towards open access to the research literature. It brings sharply into perspective much of the ‘debate’ which, frankly, focuses on trivial issues of detail.
In response, many are taking the step of making their own publications freely available, using the #pdftribute tag on twitter. Imagine if everyone did this.
The power for change lies with the research community. No journal could survive if researchers stopped submitting papers or reviewing the papers of their peers, and the channels exist to bypass journals completely if necessary. Sufficient collective action can make the change.