Europe Rises Up Against ACTA

George Washington's picture

The widespread protests against the anti-democracy bill ACTA by the Polish people have forced Poland’s prime minister to stall – or perhaps even back out – of the treaty. As TechDirt notes:

Following the growing protests about ACTA in Europe, as well as signs of US meddling, Poland’s prime minister is making it clear that Poland will not ratify ACTA for the time being, leading to speculation that the EU may not actually join ACTA.


Tusk’s backtracking could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union. If Poland or any other EU member state, or the European Parliament itself, fails to ratify the document, it becomes null and void across the union. As it stands, there are already five member countries that have not even signed ACTA.

“I share the opinions of those who from the beginning said that consultations were not complete,” Tusk said, according to a report in Wirtualna Polska. The 54-year-old prime minister added that a Polish rejection of ACTA is now on the table, and admitted that he had previously approached the agreement from a “20th century” perspective, due to his age.

The Slovenian ambassador to Japan has apologized to her country and her children for signing ACTA, saying she signed it because her government told her to, and “out of civic carelessness” in not bothering to understand what ACTA meant before signing it.

Bulgarian and Polish MPs wore Guy Fawkes masks to protest ACTA. Again, from TechDirt:

We recently pointed out that a bunch of Polish politicians wore Guy Fawkes/Anonymous masks in Parliament to protest ACTA:


SO53v Europe Rises Up Against ACTA


It appears that some politicians in Bulgaria thought that was a good idea, and have done the same thing:


V22Lv Europe Rises Up Against ACTA


Indeed, even the elderly are wearing Guy Fawkes masks in protest of ACTA:


z6qZu Europe Rises Up Against ACTA


European Parliamentarian Marietje Schaake writes:

As a Member of the European Parliament, I very much welcome the increased attention the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has received in the past weeks. It has taken a while for massive outcry to emerge, but we are seeing protest voices getting louder and louder.

ARS Technica reports that the Greek Ministry of Justice was hacked by anonymous:

The Greek Ministry of Justice had its Web site defaced by Greek and Cypriot Anonymous-affiliated hackers (a mirror of the defaced site is available here). The hackers included a video message (now removed) complaining that the Greek government had abandoned the democratic will of its people and was instead bending to the will of the IMF and the EU.


Greece is expected to accept IMF funds in an effort to allow its government to bring some semblance of sustainability to its finances, but Anonymous believes that this move will “introduce a new dictatorship upon [the Greek] people’s shoulders and allow the bankers and the monarchs of the EU to enslave them both economically and politically.”


The defaced site itself focused on an anti-ACTA message. It warned that Greece had two weeks to “stop ACTA,” and that if it failed to do so, some 300 sites would be defaced. The next targets will include both media and ministry sites, with the hackers announcing that they already had passwords for most sites and that this was “JUST the BEGINING [sic].”

Swedes are out in force protesting ACTA. As The Local reports:

Over 10,000 Swedes had pledged to take part in demonstrations in Stockholm and other cities on Saturday to protest against the ACTA anti-piracy legislation which is set to go before the Riksdag later this year.


The demonstration, held at midday on Sergels Torg in the centre of Stockholm, featured speeches from MEPs Christian Engström of the Pirate Party, Carl Schlyter of the Green Party and Mikael Gustavsson of the Left Party.


Over eleven thousand people had signed up to attend the Stockholm demonstration on Facebook by 10am on Saturday.


Christian Engström told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily that with indications that Poland’s parliament is set to reject the controversial international anti-piracy legislation, the pirate movement had wind in its sails.


“1.4 million signatures have been collected through an online petition and there have been riots in Poland. There now seems to be a commitment among citizens so I feel very hopeful,” he told DN.

By all accounts, the number of ACTA protests in Europe is overwhelming:

7Vj5G Europe Rises Up Against ACTA


But that only tells half of the story.

As Pirate Party found Rick Falvinge reports:


Just look at this map. I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of people all across Europe demanding their freedom of speech and being angry against backroom corporativist deals that steals their most basic civil liberties.


This is not Hollywood versus Silicon Valley, as oldmedia likes to frame it. This is Hollywood versus The People. For decades, they have trained us to think in black and white, in good versus evil fighting for domination of the free world. And now, they’ve gone and put themselves in the role of evil villain.

The copyright cartel thought they were battling Google.

They’re not.

They’re waging war against the people, with the help of the politicians.

And we’re not standing for it. We can’t change the copyright cartel, but we can send a clear message to the politicians that 250 million Europeans sharing and preserving contemporary culture is not a problem. It is a power base of 250 million voters that will kick you out of office if you dare so much as touch the net.

And there are visible cracks in the façade, especially seeing Poland falter and the copyright cartels visibly shaken from the SOPA defeat in the US, with the politicians having started to pay attention to what the Internet wants. We can win this.

Today, Sweden rallies. List of rallies below (via Christian Engström, Member of European Parliament):

  • Stockholm: Sergels Torg, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Göteborg: Götaplatsen, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Malmö: Stortorget, at the Karl X Gustav statue, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Helsingborg: at the Magnus Stenbock statue, 13:00. [Facebook]
  • Umeå : Apberget, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Kalmar: Giraffens Köpcentrum, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Sundsvall: Torget, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Karlstad: Stora Torget, 12 noon. [Facebook]
  • Borlänge: Jussi Björlings torg, 12 noon. [Facebook]

(The observant will note that less than half of these rallies are marked on the already-impressive map of European rallies. Makes me wonder what the map would look like if all rallies were included.)

Most of Europe will rally next Saturday, on February 11. That’s going to be something, too. Let’s give Europe the best of precursor to those rallies from Sweden that they could possibly get!

As of early morning on February 4, 11,000 people have committed to coming to the Stockholm rally, with another 3,500 maybes. Those are numbers that would overfill the Plattan plaza by a wide margin. I’ll be at the rally in Stockholm, Sweden, and will be taking plenty of imagery and will follow up here.

UPDATE AT 1500: ***

anti ACTA stockholm Feb04 621x349 Europe Rises Up Against ACTA


Rally at the Sergels Torg plaza in Stockholm, Sweden. Anna Troberg, leader of the Swedish Pirate Party, speaking (at left) and maybe 1/3 of the crowd.


The turnout was like nothing I’ve seen for a February rally in Sweden. In -20°C, there were well over a thousand people protesting corporate rights over their freedom of speech; normally, you’re lucky getting 50.


Also, there was a very clear recurring theme among the Members of European Parliament speaking, MEPs from three different parties. They all told the story of how software patents had been defeated in Europe, followed by the crucial “amendment 138? in the Telecoms Package, which aimed to shut people off en masse from the Net. Well, thanks to diligent activists and people on the inside, we managed to get as strong safeguards in place as possible against shutting people off. But the monopoly lobbyists never quit. Now they’re at it again, this time saying that if authorities can’t shut people off en masse due to that “amendment 138?, maybe they can get private corporations – the ISPs – to do it instead through third-party liability forcing certain terms of service and wiretapping. Hence, ACTA.


Fortunately, and this was a consistent message from all Members of European Parliament, we have the blueprint for defeating ACTA. We need to repeat what we did with the software patents and with the Telecoms Package. It takes hard work, it takes tons of activism, but we know exactly what to do and how to do it, and most importantly: we know that we can win.


As the rally concluded, everybody was determined to win this fight, having heard the clear message that it takes work but is perfectly doable.


UPDATE 2: There are more photos from Christian Engström, Member of European Parliament here. Free for any use (CC0 / Public Domain). Here’s one of his photos, showing the protester crowd:


IMG 1790 621x349 Europe Rises Up Against ACTA

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Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Kill Hollywood, read a book.

You don't need Hollywood to make a film, nor distribute it.

The vast majority of what Hollywood produces is nonsense.

There, that was easy.

PhilB's picture

Does it count if its an audiobook? :)

Seize Mars's picture

@Dollar Bill Hiccup

Kill Hollywood, read a book.

You don't need Hollywood to make a film, nor distribute it.

The vast majority of what Hollywood produces is nonsense.

There, that was easy.

Kill banks, barter-in-kind.

You don't need banks to do commerce, or trade with your neighbors

The totality of what banks produce is lethal

There, that was easy

Fixed it for you



Georgesblog's picture

People across southern Europe were already opposing financial conquest. Bank runs and  food riots were the most visible expressions. Resources in the hands of the people, however meager, still speak very loudly, when people vote with their wallets. The demonstrated fact that governments suppress reports of dissent and opposition just adds width to the gap between government and populations.  Replacing elected governments with central bank puppets just destabilizes governments. It's a no win situation. The banks win, people lose.

xela2200's picture

They don't give a shit about demonstrations. ACTA WILL get signed.

rsnoble's picture

Gee it was sure nice of that worthless POS Obama to let the US people have a choice in this matter. Nope, it was an "international" matter and just signed away. I sure hope they find that dumbass a non-citizen soon that will be funnier than hell.  Of course any of our other leaders(who we don't really elect a large % of the time) also would've signed it.

If it is apparent what the fucktard world elite are up to by now then it's a lost cause.  There should be daily hangings right now.  Unfortunately for us we'll probably get sidetracked with WW3, radiation and $20gallon gas.

JimS's picture

Yes, Obama is a POS on this issue, but the Repug's candidates wouldn't do anything differently. We need to dump the 2 party system, because neither party gives 2 shits about what the average citizen needs.

apberusdisvet's picture

They can take my mouse "out of my cold dead hands"

Zero Govt's picture

you can see the process longer do Parties run on manifestos is fabricated from some marxist-fascist 'Club' (like Hollywood) and given to Govts around the globe to force down their citizens throats

Ahem, where was this 'democratic process' ever approved or ratified by any parliament???

Usually it's national extremist minority groups (unions, bankers, monopolists, the usual human scum) lobbying their will to abuse the majority, enrich a minority or screw small business competition

Govt: an institution of obnoxious minorities to abuse selective majorities

DeadFred's picture

Hollywood doesn't have the clout to pull off a deal like this IMHO. The backing for it is deeper and likely darker or else it wouldn't have gone so far.

Things that go bump's picture

Who cares what Lenin would say? I worry about what Stalin would do.

AnAnonymous's picture

Made me laugh.

Same old propaganda.

What do we know about US citizens and their paneuropean project?

That most if not all of their treaties are rendereed void if not everybody signs them.

Did it happen before?


Did it prevent the treaties from being enacted?



those countries shall want specific versions of the treaties. So they oppose.

Treaties will be rewritten,swelling, adding in the mix more general law and specific conventions and they will be adopted.

The way it works.

In Europe, US citizens have already rejected several no given by referenda with nice turnout rate.

Again, more cheap propaganda from that US citizen author who tries to cover how US citizens act.

US citizens'ways are known though.

Schmuck Raker's picture

If you think that's funny, wait until 1.3 Billion Chinese citizens' cynicisms BTFU as the economyism implodisms under the weight of PROC governmentism misusms, malinvestmentism, and theftism of the PROC persons' capitalisms.

AnAnonymous's picture

Want something even funnier? Wait for the 1.3 billion Chinese to adopt US citizenism.

This is going to be funny.

Schmuck Raker's picture

1% already have, and they are welcome.

steve from virginia's picture


America, the consumer society, coopted by both the products owned and the products aspired to.

It is a complete victory of televison and advertising over everything else.

It's alright, the oil age is ending and everyone is going to be busy ...

palmereldritch's picture

The pirates promote anti-piracy legislation to abet and conceal their own piracy...piracy and counterfeit by finance, by mercantilism and by a techno-feudalism hell-bent on enslaving us all as their serfs.

Rise up...before it is too late!!

disabledvet's picture

I agree totally with this as well. The problem for us "internet people" is that the bias is for the forces of evil (Mayor Bloomberg comes to mind) to simply crush all us creative people and we still have to play by the rules while they don't. Europe is on the right path with throwing ACTA right back in the face of these "thought thiefs." Having said that it still doesn't solve the problem. I liken the ideal internet to snowmobiling....of coures we're going through private property--there's a danger of some of the cows getting loose cuz we're cruising over your fence lines--but the commercial potential is so vast that unless governments get involved and in effect..."over-ride" a certain extent..."a certain class of property rights" long as the express goal is to get the folks on the trail...and keep them on the trail...then it's mission accomplished. Seems to me there are more than enough parties who would want this to happen naturally as well (Google, Amazon, AT&T, Verizon, AOL, etc, etc) that a basic level of "over-riding" of property laws would be acceptable. just a thought of course...

non_anon's picture

i'd say critical mass is on our side, for now

falun bong's picture

And the US protests are...where? What a bunch of anesthetized sheeple...

BlankfeinDiamond's picture

The only rioting you'll see will either be in NY or Boston tonight after one of them loses the Stupor Bowl.

rsnoble's picture

There's 2 large goups in the US that won't get involved. #1 are the ones that still have a job and are afraid to speak out.  #2 are all the ones that are beyond fucking stupid and can often be seen at Walmart.

You can't have too many protests when half the country is sucking cock and kissing ass and the other still thinks 2+2=jello.  I suspect when welfare benefits and so-called "entitlements" get cut off they'll wake up, as the other group will also because of the huge amount of $ yanked out of the economy will create more job losses. Hard telling what the US gov't will accomplish before all that happens though.

Seize Mars's picture


when welfare benefits and so-called "entitlements" get cut off they'll wake up, as the other group will also because of the huge amount of $ yanked out of the economy will create more job losses

Well I disagree about this. People often think that ending entitlement spending will hurt the economy. That's just not correct. The "economy" is really a set of capital investments.

If all this entitlement money is freed up from being diverted into nonproductive stuff, it will head straight into productive use. This creates jobs, and does so immediately.

This is why 2 million American soldiers coming home from WWII found work immediately; wage & price controls were abandoned and the Uncle Same paycheck stopped which means all those $$ were freed up for investments. Bang. No net unemployment. In fact, things got even better.

So you see it is the central planner that causes poverty, cloaked in a lie that it is poverty he is trying to alleviate.

duo's picture

staying off the no-fly list is important to some. +1

ebworthen's picture

ACTA?  Is that some kind of acne medication?

I wonder if they will have one of those funny commercials for the Super Bowl?

I got my Doritos, Pepsi, and Budweiser.

What was your question again?

Fred Hayek's picture

I was all upset about ACTA. It seemed so outrageous. On my way out the door to a protest I took a couple Soma caplets. Better a gramme than a damn! I ended up on the couch watching Dancing with the Stars.

Grey-Ghost's picture

Why would anyone protest in the home of the free and the land of the brave?

Tompooz's picture

Yeah, these Europeans hate us for our freedoms.

sun tzu's picture

as long as they're keeping us safe from the terrorists /sarcasm

Transformer's picture

What are terrorists/sarcasm?

Look, here in America, we're all cranked for the big game tomorrow.  Who gives a shit about internet piracy, anyway?  Whatever, it can wait til next week.

the tower's picture

These terrorists: Thank god Homeland Security is scanning all Facebook and Twitter messages! Disaster has been averted, Americans and tourists alike can feel safe again!

bigkahuna's picture

history will show that in present times Amerika is irrelevsnt.

Alexmai's picture

February 11th there will be international protests against ACTA! 

Marietje Schaake: As a Member of the European Parliament, I very much welcome the increased attention the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has received in the past weeks. It has taken a while for massive outcry to emerge, but we are seeing protest voices getting louder and louder.

Newsboy's picture

Read ZH while you can, then prepare to hunker-down.

(Maybe even more preparedness is in order...)