9th June 2012 11:44
Loz Kaye speech at ACTA protests
Protests against the controversial ACTA treaty are planned today, in London and across the UK, as well as across the EU, and as far afield as the US and Japan.
Loz Kaye, Pirate Party UK Leader, will be speaking at the London protests.
An advance copy of his speech follows.
I always seem to be making speeches with dire warnings, and bringing dire news of the latest attempt to break the Internet. So it's nice to bring some good news for once.
ACTA, you are going down.
I think we can allow ourselves a little celebration of what we have achieved so far. The verdict from the EU committee stages on ACTA was stark.
No. No. No.
That's the kind of three strikes I can get behind.
The Netherlands has joined the list of countries rejecting this unjust and unwanted treaty. The opposition by the Development Committee was hugely significant. For the most dispossessed on this planet the decisions on ACTA really are a matter of life and death.
In the Pirate party our objections remain the same. ACTA was discussed in secret, it diminishes privacy to protect outdated business models. It harms developing countries and unfairly favours the big players.
Its not in your interests, not for your benefit, it's not good for humanity.
Our opponents have attempted to portray us all as extreme or ill informed. But the response of the EU committees show that we have been right all along.
The message from the civil liberties group could not have been more clear. They stressed that ACTA is not compatible with the charter of fundamental rights. It would freeze any attempt to democratically debate copyright policy. What part of this do the fat cat lobbyists not understand?
But we can't be complacent. ACTA is only going down if we finish the job.
That's what we are here to do today. It also needs you to contact you MEPs and put the case.. Only 175 out of over 700 MEP's have had to vote on ACTA so far. It's been very close. The vote in the European parliament in July is crucial.
At a time when confidence in European institutions is at an all time low, the European parliament has an historic opportunity to stand up for the democratic will of the people. There must be no attempt to delay the vote, we must have our say. Like many of you I am sceptical about our political system. But we have shown that pressure works. Politics is only broken if we don't act to fix it. And there is lots to fix.
The coalition seems unwilling or unable to stop the Digital Economy Act. What can you expect from a bunch who can't even decide on the cost of baked goods.
The threat of chucking entire households off the net still looms. The danger of a chilling effect on of the few bright spots in our economy still remains.
Even so, we are discovering our voice and our power. The tide is turning. We must make it crystal clear that even a single threatening letter in the name of the Digital Economy Act will be political poison for the coalition and anyone else who supports this controversial legislation.
There is also a more immediate crisis: the slippery slope toward Internet censorship, through the spread of site blocking.
Vince Cable promised the country last year that the web blocking parts of the Digital Economy Act would not be implemented. However the injunctions against Newzbin and The Pirate Bay have effectively short-circuited the democratic process. Currently our Internet policy is not run by Ed Vaizey, it is dictated by the BPI. They may be two different laws but the effect is the same. Websites are being disappeared. No-one has ever demonstrated that this policy is effective or that it is necessary. This is why the Pirate Party is standing up and providing a Pirate Bay proxy.
We will not allow the democratic process to be circumvented. It is not enough to be like the Liberal Democrats, and make nice noises at our conference but do nothing. As I see it, doing nothing, when our fundamental rights are threatened, is not an option. We must be prepared to take action. It is action that leads to success and victory.
The victories so far are your victories, they belong to the grass roots and the activists - the people who dare to be counted. If we can put ACTA in the dustbin of history where it belongs, it will send out a powerful signal.
Politicians - mess with the Internet at your peril.
If we can secure a rejection of ACTA in the European parliament, it shows that the voice of the people is stronger than that of the lobbyists, that we want results and that we will get results.
Can we win this? Yes. We can win this. If we work together as a movement, we will win this. Because we must win this.
Pirate Party Press Team
0161 987 7880
Pirate Party UK is a political party registered with the Electoral