Anti-ACTA Protests Going Worldwide Tomorrow

    February 10, 2012
    Chris Richardson
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While there’s no way of knowing if the upcoming anti-ACTA protests will have the same chilling effect the Internet blackout did on SOPA/PIPA, citizens on a worldwide basis are preparing to speak out against the ACTA treaty.


Tomorrow (February 11), is being set aside as a day of global protest against ACTA and perhaps the newest enemy of the Internet, TPP. While these protests are largely focused in Europe, this is not just a problem facing citizens of the European Union. Keep in mind, U.S. citizens, that President Obama has shown outward support for ACTA, even as his cabinet derided SOPA/PIPA.

Much like the massive anti-SOPA movement, the web, especially social media, is helping facilitate these protests. Over at KillACTA.org, the folks who run FightForTheFuture.org have set up something of a protest meet up utility, complete with a Google Map showing where various protests are occurring.

There’s also a “Write Your Official” widget, which spells out the anti-ACTA manifesto quite clearly:

I urge you to vote no on ACTA and to communicate its severe problems to your colleagues. ACTA’s vague language locks us into obsolete copyright and patent laws, preventing democracies from updating their laws to unlock new economic and social opportunities.

It criminalizes harmless remixes by ordinary users if they achieve “a commercial scale” (art 2.14.1) which many amateur videos do on sites like Youtube. And it criminalizes legitimate websites by making them responsible for user behavior (“aiding and abetting” art 2.14.4).

Worse, it permanently bypasses the democratic process by empowering the “ACTA Committee” to “propose amendments to [ACTA]” without your approval. (art 6.4) In other words, it’s impossible to know what you’re voting for.

The global movement against the US law SOPA showed that internet freedom is a crucial issue which belongs in the legislative process of each country. You should view ACTA as an attempt by a handful of companies to circumvent the democratic process, and you should vote against it.

Thank you. Please reply if you have any questions.

KillACTA.org also features embeddable widgets for sites that want to join the protest on Saturday. As indicated, the embeddable map shows where the fun will be had, especially if you’re against ACTA:

As you can see, while there is representation in the United States, it pales in comparison to our European friends. Perhaps the success of the anti-SOPA movement ended the American public’s interest, but as our European counterparts demonstrate, the fight for a properly regulated Internet is still going. It should also be noted that despite being “on the ropes,” SOPA and PIPA are not dead.

Facebook is also playing a major role in relation to organizing these anti-ACTA protests. Over at the STOP ACTA! page, there is a list of events going on all over Europe, and it’s clear our European Union neighbors, at least the citizens thereof, are not going to simply accept ACTA without a fighting back.

In Germany and France, for instance, there will be protests in multiple cities:

Aix en Provence : https://www.facebook.com/events/244421288966558/
Ajaccio : https://www.facebook.com/events/133197000134763/
Albi : https://www.facebook.com/events/168765856565763/
Amiens : https://www.facebook.com/events/100287056765109/
Angers : https://www.facebook.com/events/199634866800799/
Annecy : http://www.facebook.com/events/257782500958741/
Avignon : http://www.facebook.com/events/205603019536597/
Bayonne : https://www.facebook.com/events/170881226348001/
Besançon : http://www.facebook.com/events/350055058338859/
Bordeaux : http://www.facebook.com/events/362717853754753/
Brest : https://www.facebook.com/events/115942121861376/
Caen : https://www.facebook.com/events/228618757227112/
Chambery : https://www.facebook.com/events/288493647877788/
Clermont-Ferrand : http://www.facebook.com/events/326849087360202/
Corte : https://www.facebook.com/events/185750778193305/
Dijon : https://www.facebook.com/events/274825002587428/
Douai : https://www.facebook.com/events/102456923212099/
Dunkerque : https://www.facebook.com/events/120665031389535/
Grenoble : https://www.facebook.com/events/291033160951733/
Limoges : http://www.facebook.com/events/321440564560770/
Lille : http://www.facebook.com/events/199934440105717/
Lorient : http://www.facebook.com/events/231912796892759/
Lyon : https://www.facebook.com/events/227033324049150/
Marseille : https://www.facebook.com/events/371810592833698/
Metz : https://www.facebook.com/events/223962574358248/
Montpellier : https://www.facebook.com/events/308322049214315/
Nancy : https://www.facebook.com/events/297319746990736/
Nantes : https://www.facebook.com/events/336368539718367/
Nevers : http://www.facebook.com/events/257478177653829/
Nice : http://www.facebook.com/events/226142050807952/
Nîmes : https://www.facebook.com/events/284365168292336/
Orléans : https://www.facebook.com/events/144336802350023/
Paris : https://www.facebook.com/events/261953107207192/
Perpignan : https://www.facebook.com/events/335195069845376/
Poitiers : https://www.facebook.com/events/335663953135037/
Porto-Vecchio : https://www.facebook.com/events/270343909700151/
Quimper : http://www.facebook.com/events/175748819198384/
Reims : https://www.facebook.com/events/261712197231360/
Rennes : https://www.facebook.com/events/284421551613274/
Saint Brieuc : https://www.facebook.com/events/355899707762027/
Saint Denis (Ile de la Réunion) : http://www.facebook.com/events/355272381151834/
Strasbourg : https://www.facebook.com/events/317988148239037/
Tarbes : https://www.facebook.com/events/336009553098334/
Toulouse : https://www.facebook.com/events/312007895501972/
Tours : http://www.facebook.com/events/282746828454027/
Troyes : http://www.facebook.com/events/322202587818097/

Berlin: https://www.facebook.com/events/338799346153966/
Bremerhaven: https://www.facebook.com/events/212489055513027/
Dortmund: https://www.facebook.com/events/292927114099000/
Dresden: http://www.facebook.com/events/155805177868102/
Dusseldorf: http://www.facebook.com/events/228942327190942/
Erfurt – http://www.facebook.com/events/204041156361455/
Frankfurt/Main: https://www.facebook.com/events/129547730499332/
Freiburg: https://www.facebook.com/events/313894588647456/
Hamburg: http://www.facebook.com/events/159557767491881/
Hanover: https://www.facebook.com/events/360437973983925/
Köln: https://www.facebook.com/events/207644835998103/
Leipzig: https://www.facebook.com/events/316277768408479/
Mainz: http://www.facebook.com/events/169154469860540/
Mannheim: http://www.facebook.com/events/267555573314186/
Minden: https://www.facebook.com/events/310027772381359/
Munich: https://www.facebook.com/events/117215651734097/
Nordenham: http://www.facebook.com/events/182942588474388/
Nürnberg: https://www.facebook.com/events/244916202249229/
Potsdam: https://www.facebook.com/events/350079258349898/
Regensburg: http://www.akv-r.de/2012/01/30/demoaufruf-acta-ad-acta/
Saarbruecken: https://www.facebook.com/events/337811569584831/
Stuttgart: https://www.facebook.com/events/144489442335635/
Überall : http://www.facebook.com/events/182716005161256/

The question is, will this anti-ACTA outcry fall on deaf ears? Considering the Polish government have already tried to pacify their citizens with more “ACTA isn’t as bad as you think” dismissives. Of course, if people took the apathetic approach and ignore their right to speak out, there’s no telling what state the Internet would be in. At least these protests bring light to the issue at hand.

  • Alex Macfie

    The main reason most of the anti-ACTA activity is in Europe is that very soon the European Parliament will get to vote on it. The EU is almost the only entity among the ones that hvae signed ACTA where there will be a vote, and therefore a chance for people to make a difference by forcing elected representatives to listen to them. In the US, there will be no vote on it.

    • Blue Drache

      Wrong. Study Constitutional law again please. Any treaty signed by the president must be ratified by congress first.

  • Black March Boycott 2012

    Black March Boycott protest ACTA, do NOT buy Movies, Music or Video Games for the month of March. Get the attention the entertainment industry by having them watch their profit margin drop.

    google Black March, Operation Black March, Black March Protest and Black March Boycott. starts 3-1-2012 spread the word……