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Flowers. Photo by Kanko* (kankan) at Flickr.

Send Flowers To The European Parliament For Rejecting ACTA!

104

Activism

Activism

For months, we have pestered the Members of European Parliament with calls, mails, street protests, visits, and even faxes. On July 4, they killed ACTA decisively in a 478-against-39 vote. Now comes the next step: showing our love for doing the right thing. That part is easily overlooked, and almost always forgotten.

The thing that makes it so efficient as citizens to contact Parliament that each of us only has to do something small in order to have an immense effect when many of us do that little something. It leads to effects on a large scale that just haven’t happened before – like every MEP office getting about 6,000 e-mails from all over the world, ordinary people telling their story.

In the same vein, MEPs are used to just being yelled and yanked at from people who want favors. In rejecting ACTA, I think the MEPs who voted to reject it deserve a little show of our appreciation, so why not send them a bunch of flowers? The MEPs are quite ordinary people, too, and put yourself in their shoes – if a complete stranger should just break through the wall where you work and give you flowers, how would you react? That, just that, is the effect we can accomplish together.

This has never happened before. People, ordinary citizens, have never showered Parliament with flowers out of gratitude for standing up for us. If we shouldn’t do it now, then when?

The European Parliament is currently in Strasbourg, and will be flying back to their home countries tomorrow for the weekend, so I’d suggest ordering flowers to arrive in Brussels on Monday. (Yes, the Europarl works in several different places, and they’ll be working in Brussels next week.)

Do this:

  1. Pick a MEP that voted against ACTA from this page at random. That’s all the MEPs voting for rejection of ACTA on July 4 – the original 478 plus three more that appeared in “correction of minutes”. I’d suggest either picking one from your home country, or picking one by clicking here to get a random number, then sending to the corresponding MEP in the list. Or use any method you like.
  2. Go to Belgian Interflora, Euroflorist, or FloraQueen to order flowers. (If you get the site in a strange language, check the top right for language settings.) Any flowers. A clover or an immense bouquet, it doesn’t matter. If you can afford it, it could be helpful to include a vase (there’s a significant risk they’ll run out of vases if enough people do this).
  3. Set the delivery date to Monday, July 9, Tuesday, July 10, or Wednesday, July 11.
  4. Send flowers to this address: MEP [name of your selected MEP], European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Bruxelles/Brussels, Belgium. The phone number to Parliament is +32 2 284 21 11.
  5. Include a simple message like “Thank you for voting no to ACTA.”
  6. Last but not least – tweet/share this page across your network to spread awareness of the action. It needs volume to get the desired impact and long-term effects, and nobody knows your friends better than you.

Our representatives stood up for us and our rights today. That may be their job, but let’s encourage them to keep listening to the citizens by doing something that’s never happened before: actually showing them how much we appreciate it.

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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Contributors take own responsibility for their comments.

104

  1. 1
    Chris. R

    Rick, the list you mention is from an older (2010) amendment voting on a text by the Greens and ALDE. It’s confusing to use this list.

  2. 2
    agtrier

    Rick, you aren’t asking us by any chance to”post factum” bribe our beloved MEPs, do you? ;-)

  3. 3

    Anyone know a phone number for the European Parliament? Seems you need it to send flowers.

  4. 4

    I love everything about this!

    But it might be a bad idea to swamp just one florist with orders. They might not be able to deliver. And it would be cool to give some business to a smaller player in the field than just the Interflora giant. Perhaps someone in Belgium could give us some tips about other options?

  5. 5
    Jerker Montelius

    Realy good initiative.

    Flowers sent.

  6. [...] Recent Headlines Send Flowers To The European Parliament For Rejecting ACTA!7ActivismActivism Dutch Pirate Party Now At The Door To Parliament9Pirate PartiesPirate Parties Oil [...]

  7. [...] asking them how to vote. You could mail Parliament to thank them for rejecting ACTA. Or you could send flowers to thank [...]

  8. 6
    ofyourchoice

    I’d love to but all I have to pay with is a maestro card. Any ideas?

    • 6.1
      phiskas

      I heard of a workaround using Ucash / ukash vouchers and Amazon, so maybe if you get flowers from there instead you could fix it.

      The thing with the Ucash was that they can be registered as a credit card for Amazon.com.

  9. 7
    Evpok

    For those of us who can’t afford flowers, don’t you have one of your magic mail aliases set to the anti-ACTA MEPs? :)

  10. 8
    Daniel Compton

    Is there anywhere cheaper than Interflora? I can’t see where to send a single flower.

  11. 9
    bilbo-the-hobbit

    Hello,

    what a nice idea, yes thanking them is also important, i have just done it for a member of the EPP who has voted against

    Cheers

  12. 10
    Erik

    Great idea. MEP picked, flowers ordered, and to be delivered on Monday.

  13. 11
    Jim

    We’ll be sending handpainted thankyou cards to a bunch of them instead. Can’t afford flowers.

  14. 12
    Magnus

    Flowers sent! Although expensive, a good idea!

  15. [...] eurodeputados portugueses, apenas Vital Moreira não terá direito a flores. Classificar isto:Partilhar:FacebookMaisEmailPrint Deixe um [...]

  16. [...] seja por outros meios, por vezes surtem efeito.  Rick Falkvinge sugere, como agradecimento, o envio de flores aos eurodeputados.  Se, como eu, tiverem algum problema com oferecer flores, podem por exemplo enviar-lhes um postal [...]

  17. [...] página tiene una iniciativa para mandarle al parlamento por haber rechazado la propuesta de ACTA. Despues de todo lo que le rompimos las bolas, me parece bastante buena la [...]

  18. 14
    Erik

    Did I just not find his name on the list or did Christian Engström not vote (or God forbid vote yes)?

  19. 15
    Daniel

    Flowers sent and link sharing in progress… :-)

  20. 16
    morr

    Wow that was really hard and the page works really poor. Anyhow after a while I discovered that you can change the language in the upper right corner ;).

    Here is the cheapest alternative, and it’s in a pot so it’ll live longer and they don’t need a vase.
    https://fleurop.be/en/sv/shop/product/90/

    • 16.1
      MK

      That’s what I sent! My MEP of choice was Riikka Manner, Finland. I like that it’s a flowering plant in a pot so it can stay on her desk and remind her why she should continue to support freedom of speech on the internet.

  21. 17
    Chris Conder

    I am taking a photo of a flower and sending them a virtual rose. A red one.

  22. 18
    morr

    MEP Anna Hedh/S&D/Sweden – Check! ;)

  23. 19
    Datavetaren

    This is an absolute beautiful initiative!
    Just ordered flowers to be delivered using your instructions!

  24. [...] een goed idee van Rick Falkvinge, het sturen van een bos bloemen naar een Europarlementariër die een stem tegen ACTA uitbracht. Dat zijn er echter (gelukkig) heel erg veel, dus we (OpenBibliotheken) hebben onze keuze [...]

  25. 20
    Masa

    All those who saw reason ‘net remembers, those who did not ‘net remembers.
    All Fiinish EPP members choose to abstain, whitch is a pity. Rest of them did better.
    Takkula woted Yes whitcs is a sad thing…
    Because I like to trust people =(

    And now lets start eradicating TPP

  26. 21
    Fropixx

    Flowers & vase sent. Thanks for the idea, Rick!

  27. 22

    Flowers sent. I used

    http://www.floraqueen.com/

    but there are many other options in Belgium. Interflora was forcing my deliver for Sunday – perhaps they’ve already reached capacity for Monday?

    I’m a citizen of 2 EU countries so I used a RND to decide whom to send flowers to. Additionally, I sent a (very polite) email to the only Greek MEP who voted against, asking her

    1. what was her reasoning for voting against and
    2. whom she was representing by that vote

    I can’t wait to hear her reply.

  28. 23
    Björn Persson

    Humans are notoriously bad at choosing randomly, so please use http://www.random.org/ or a similar service to get a random number between 1 and 478.

    Also, it’s not necessary to order from a Belgian website. You can order flowers from Interflora or Euroflorist in your home country and have them delivered in Brussels. That may give you more payment options and less language problems.

  29. 24

    “My” MEP received the flowers and told me (via Twitter) that her inbox is full of virtual flowers sent by e-mail :)

    People are sending virtual flowers. Flower spam :)

  30. [...] Проголосовавшим против ACTA депутатам решили подарить цветы Основатель Пиратской партии Швеции Рик Фальквинге (Rick Falkvinge) предложил отправить цветы депутатам Европарламента, проголосовавшим против антипиратского законопроекта ACTA. С предложением отблагодарить парламентариев он выступил на своем сайте. [...]

  31. 25

    Tine, Symion: Thanks for the additional places to order – I update the article to have three options. (I choose not to include a site in non-English language – every additional step that confuses is less flowers sent.)

  32. 26

    Tatjana ŽDANOKA can look forward to flowers on Monday — thanks for this great suggestion.

    Next up: instructions for sending a flaming bag of doggy do to the 39 who voted FOR it?

    Seriously though, while positivity can work better than negativity, letting them know that we don’t appreciate their supporting this ill-fated “treaty” (and others like it) may make them think twice about offering their support (or abstention) in future.

  33. 27

    Absolutely wonderful. Flowers sent.

  34. 29
    Free Internet

    Flowers posted. I chose a random MEP and got a rep from the extreme left. Whew.

  35. 30
    mtm

    Flowers with vase ordered for semi-random MEP.

    I hope there will be enough flowers sent to be noticed and make the news.

    • 30.1
      Free Internet

      I hope that too. The flowers and vase were a bit outside my budget, and sent to a complete stranger too……but, all I had to do is remind myself how much I wanted ACTA stopped in Europe and it seemed like nothing at all. I’ll happily do it again when TPPA is dead too. You only have to think for a moment to remember there is a lot at stake.

  36. 31
    Riverman

    Random choice went: BORYS Piotr, Poland EPP woted against his group! Flower is delivered on 9 July.

    Great idea!

    /Måns

  37. 32
    Erik

    Flowers sent!

  38. 33
    Alex

    And some more.. I hope Amelia likes white! Joking aside, they all deserve a little gift – little, compared to what we would’ve lost without them.

    THANK YOU!

  39. 34
    Mark

    I really cant help but think how many weeks/months of food could be bought with this money per peson, for charity, instead of sending someone flowers who isnt really going to care about them.

    • 34.1

      If you don’t think this is going to matter in the slightest, you’re… well, wrong. Nothing like this has ever happened before, if it becomes successful.

      • 34.1.1
        Free Internet

        One thing is for sure Rick, I would have found it difficult to play my little part with the letters and flowers if it wasnt for you facilitating it. Thanks for helping and pointing me in the right direction with email addresses and the idea of the flowers. Wouldnt it be great if flower delivery vans line up on Monday to deliver all these flowers and the press gets into the act. Unfortunately though, in relation to copyright reform, I get the feeling mainstream press/media isnt all that enthusiastic.

    • 34.2
      mtm

      Sending flowers doesn’t mean that other money doesn’t go to charity and vice versa. Just as I doubt charity organisations benefit each time you refrain from going out partying during a weekend (or that a downloaded copy of a song automatically means a loss for a record company for that matter).

      Perhaps in the short term spending money on food for the population of a starving nation is better. In the long run though, slowly nudging MEP:s and other politicians in the right direction towards more open societies might have a more lasting effect.

      While ACTA is not directly linked to famin, it still could have had a bad effect on, for example, the availibility of medication for the same people.

      Maybe it’ll work… maybe it won’t – I am willing to give it a try.

      But… I agree that it is depressing that we need charity work at all and that many politicians does not, in my opinion, work for the greater good and not representing the people.

    • 34.3
      MK

      Man does not live on bread alone….doing something about freedom of speech on the internet is just as important as charitable works that help the less fortunate. Internet censorship hurts poor people the most, so really, doing your part to support our internet freedoms is giving assistance to the poor indirectly.

  40. 35
    Illienne

    Just sent some random polish MEP some flowers. I hope he likes orange…

  41. 36
    S

    I sent a little something to an EPP MEP since they are likely to get some heat from the party bigwigs for voting “wrong”

  42. [...] the case, to everybody’s surprise except the establishment’s. Call for Action Did you send flowers yet to the Members of European Parliament who voted to kill off [...]

  43. 37
    jonathan

    This is such a cool idea! Flowers to MEP’s – a FIRST! – they’ll never forget

    I’m emailing them first..

    J

  44. 38
    Nicklas

    Sent an orchid in a pot! Great idea, let’s see how the commisioners spin the flowers into some form of “light terrorism” again.

  45. 39
    anon

    Potted plant sent, great initiative!

    Random number generator picked a Polish MEP, well deserved destination considering how valiantly they have stood up for basic human rights lately.

  46. 40

    Flowers sent. Great idea!

  47. 41
    Nemas loma

    Flowers sent!

  48. 42
    Guybrush

    Flowers and a vase sent to random rebel from Romania, well-deserved!

  49. 43
    Jörgen L

    Votewatch isn’t working now.

    It says:”
    Welcome to the new VoteWatch Europe website !

    This website will become publicly available Monday, 9 July at 15:30 Central European Time.

  50. 44
    Joska

    What do those “Rebel” and “Loyal” in that pastebin text mean?

    • 44.1

      It means whether they went against their party group line and their national majority lines. This was clearer in the VoteWatch site, which they saw fit to take down for maintenance right now.

      • 44.1.1
        Joska

        Thanks. By the way, I’m quite surprised about my countries MEPs. I’m from Hungary, and seeing what my gowrnment does back at home (trieing to eliminate the democracy with their 2/3 majority in the parliament) I thought it’s no use to write to them, if their party is against democracy what matters an antidemocratic trade agreemant to them. Well, they voted against it anyway. They deserve the flowers.

  51. 45
    Locutus

    Flower sent!

  52. 46
    Troed

    Flowers sent. Thanks for the reminder and all the work you put into activating us, Rick ;)

  53. 47
    Linda

    Flowers sent to hungarian rebel!
    :) really looking forward for some
    sort of feedback on this action.

  54. 48
    Bardybeard

    Flowers sent!

    MEP Alyn Smith of Scotland!

  55. 49
    Bardybeard

    But it came up as “Alyn Smith Alyn”

    I hope that is alright

  56. 50
    Anonymous

    Flowers sent! :)

  57. [...] Thank you! whoever sent me the flowers (the note was not signed). It is not every day that a politician gets flowers from citizens for what he has done in parliament, and I am very moved to see how many people have followed Rick’s suggestion to send flowers. [...]

  58. 51
    Antonio R.

    A great initiative. Flowers sent:)

  59. [...] VICTORY! ACTA Suffers Final, Humiliating Defeat In European Parliament104InfopolicyInfopolicy Send Flowers To The European Parliament For Rejecting ACTA!97ActivismActivism European Parliament Blocks Copyright Reform With 113% Voter Turnout85Copyright [...]

  60. 52
    peter

    I just found the cheapest bouquet here:

    http://www.fleurslivraison.be/bouquet-joie-produs126.php

    sent one to a german representative

  61. [...] Gränser och själva demokratin har segrat. EU-parlamentet fullkomligen badar i blommor (skicka du med!). Men den globala rättvisan och människans grundläggande frihet har många antagonister, och de [...]

  62. [...] Okay, Blumen nach Brüssel geschickt. Danke, Falkvinge. [...]

  63. […] отблагодарить парламентариев он выступил на своем сайте. (http://falkvinge.net/2012/07/04/send-flowers-to-th…) […]

  64. 53

    Нi there! This is my first comment here so I just
    wanted tߋ give a quick shout out and say I really еnjoy reading yoսr ɑrticles.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thanks!

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About The Author

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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