500 Days To European Elections, Pirates Needed More By The Day

Today, on January 23, it is 500 days to June 8, 2014, when the next European Elections are held. Pirates entered Parliament on June 7, 2009, and have since saved Europe from “three-strikes”, ACTA, and many other examples of encroachment on civil liberties. But things are still overall going very much the wrong way – we need to fire more politicians over reckless disregard for civil liberties to drive the message home.

Things are going to hell in a handbasket, and fast. I’ve written before how I consider the Pirate Party movement to be the last line of defense against a very ugly society – just yesterday, there was another example, that I choose to illustrate the overall trend: European politicians want the right to fire uncomfortable reporters.

A society where such a report can be published by the political powers, and even taken seriously, is a society where civil liberties are endangered and verging on extinct – even if the report doesn’t become law. Even if it doesn’t become law this time around.

There are more things in the pipeline, which we must prepare for – preferably by boosting the pirate forces in Brussels. You have the various spinoffs on ACTA, everything from CETA to TPP (even if Europe is not an initial party to the latter) where the monopolistic powers will just go with “more and harder violence, but less vaseline” until things snap. Politicians mostly don’t even try to defend copyright and patent monopolies by claiming they fulfill their stated purpose of encouraging creativity/innovation – having the monopolies and enforcing them is about jobs. Pure protectionism by means of monopolization, at the expense of civil liberties and freedoms of speech and expression.

Speaking of freedoms of speech, the report mentioned above spoke of “removal of journalistic status” as a punishment for people who printed bad stories about the politicians. You will note that there is no such thing as journalistic status today; anybody can publish anything, and this is a good thing. To be able to remove freedom of speech, the European Union must first create a mechanism that grants freedom of speech – and one that does so conditionally.

That language tells us a lot about what is happening right now.

That is not tolerable, not any bit of it.

But we can send them a message. We can do this, we can do this together. We know that it works. We have done the proofs of concept. We know that we can get elected and change the world for the better.

For it is direly needed, it has never been more needed, and it keeps getting more needed by the day.

The polling stations open at oh-eight hundred on June 8, 2014. That’s exactly 500 days from now, and the clock is ticking.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot.

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Discussion

  1. Byte

    Let’s make sure we don’t forget about the basics : getting people out to vote. Discussing the issues is important, but the bottom line is to motivate supporters to go out to vote, to motivate them to get their friends to do the same, especially those that normally wouldn’t have bothered.

  2. Christophe

    Let’s make sure we don’t forget about the basics : seeking for a “real” democracy.
    Voting is the ONLY thing we can do right now. I want to see a future where we vote not for politicians, but for the law itself. We are not anywhere near democracy, in our own countries, furthermore in Europe.

    We are fools to give power to those who wants it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaX0DWZ0zhg

  3. Anonymous

    more openness about the aims of TPP must be forthcoming and very well advertised. i am still of the opinion that a hell of a lot of people think TPP is all about copyright, the right to get things for free from the internet and to screw the entertainment industries, particularly the US ones. a clear agenda has to be put out so people understand what electing PP members will, hopefully, achieve

  4. Peter Andersson

    Kul att se att någon är så förutseende att den har koll på att det är jämnt 500 dagar kvar. Och apropå förutseende; Centerpartiet skall visst ha konvulsioner… ehh… jag menar partistämma i mars eller april i år – då skulle jag vilja se alla ledande piratpartister skriva om hur fildelning räddat/räddar den svenska landsbygden (vilket jag nämner eftersom jag befarar att alla istället kommer att välja att skriva om att utkastet till nytt liberalt partiprogram egentligen är bra, vilket det iofs är på många punkter verkar det som). Jag är uppväxt på landet, jag vet att många gamla centerpartistiska kärnväljare tvekar inför sitt parti just nu, de stureplansliberala är redan nyfikna på oss, under och efter stämman kan dock vara ett gyllene tillfälle att värva kulturellt isolerade ute på landsbygden.

  5. Even G

    Can I see anywhere which national Pirate Parties will nominate candidates for this election? And which parties did in 2009?

    I’m hoping at least Germany will join the Swedes for this. Hopefully many, many more :)

  6. […] dois t’avouer, cher lecteur, que lorsque j’ai pris conscience (en lisant un billet de Flakvinge) du si peu de temps, j’ai flippé. Grave. Puis je me suis souvenu de l’injonction bienveillante […]

  7. […] dois t’avouer, cher lecteur, que lorsque j’ai pris conscience (en lisant un billet de Flakvinge) du si peu de temps, j’ai flippé. Grave. Puis je me suis souvenu de l’injonction bienveillante […]

  8. […] dois t’avouer, cher lecteur, que lorsque j’ai pris conscience (en lisant un billet de Flakvinge) du si peu de temps, j’ai flippé. Grave. Puis je me suis souvenu de l’injonction bienveillante […]

  9. […] dois t’avouer, cher lecteur, que lorsque j’ai pris conscience (en lisant un billet de Flakvinge) du si peu de temps, j’ai flippé. Grave. Puis je me suis souvenu de l’injonction bienveillante […]

  10. Ano Nymous

    In Sweden, the media propaganda for internet censorship was put in fifth gear about a week ago. Almost everyday it is being talked about on the radio, shown on TV and written about in the newspapers, the “näthat”, literally net-hatred or web-hatred.

    What they are referring to is defamatory or racist content online. And the Swedish media’s definition of what is defamatory or racist is quite wide, to say the least.
    This: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=98&artikel=5418557
    is about a bus driver who used the public address speaker system in the bus to inform the passengers that the bus was a bit late because they picked up a family of “new Swedes”, a phrase used to describe immigrants, often by those who oppose mass immigration.

    That bus driver is a racist according to all Swedish media, and they glorify a woman who walked up to the driver and pointed that out.

    Then you can imagine what they think about what’s online.
    If something is not the way that the government wants it, it is “näthat”. It’s that simple. And they want censorship and surveillance to prevent it from spreading and to deter and punish people who produce it.

    First, it will be racism and defamatory content, then it’s copyright infringement’s turn, then it’s everyone working for freedom and legalizing copying (Pirates and the likes), then it’s everyone that says something that is against government, then it’s everyone who thinks something that is against government, exposed by searching the wrong information. Scary…

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