Friday, 10 February 2012

Civil society beating back ACTA assault

On and off line beating back ACTA is the greatest pan-European civil society campaign ever.

We note that media interest is widening.

The Economist: Internet freedom and copyright law: ACTA up – Protests across Europe may kill anti-piracy treaty

Financial Times, Stanley Pignal and Jan Cienski: Latest pact on internet piracy set to be derailed


Ratification on hold

By now, the governments of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia and Germany have put ACTA ratification or signing on hold, following the protests.

This may be only temporary relief, but it could also be the first step towards withdrawal.


PES joined the battle

Thanks to @jonworth I noticed that the Party of European Socialists (PES) - @PES_PSE on Twitter - came out against ACTA in a press release and a declaration.

Hannes Swoboda, the leader of the second largest political group in the European Parliament, the Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D) - @TheProgressives on Twitter – made a statement envisioning possible rejection of the treaty.


Citizens mobilise

The Twitter discussion under #ACTA is intense ahead of the biggest action day against the anti-piracy agreement tomorrow, Saturday 11 February 2012, with more than 200 new demonstrations taking place.

The total numbers participating remain to be seen, but the defence of Internet freedom unites Europeans across borders.

The stream of new signatures on the Avaaz petition for the European Parliament (and the national parliaments) to reject ACTA is continuing. A few moments ago 2,076,598 had already signed.

***

Signs that the ACTA assault may be petering out raises hopes for the netizens. The EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht is ”not impressed” by the demonstrations, but he may be one of his kind.

Popular opinion gives the remaining supporters in the parliaments cause to ponder the wisdom of further confrontation with voters.



Ralf Grahn
speaker, trainer and advisor

P.S. For better or for worse, between the global issues and the national level, the European Union shapes our digital future and online freedoms. Is your blog already listed among the more than 900 euroblogs aggregated by multilingual Bloggingportal.eu? Are you following the debates which matter for your future?