This is a day of celebration.
The European Parliament decided to reject ACTA once and for all. This means that the deceptive treaty is now dead globally. This also means that you can still enjoy a free-ish Internet. This is the day when citizens of Europe and the world won over unelected bureaucrats who were being wooed and lobbied by the richest corporations of the planet.
The battleground wasn’t some administrative office, but the representatives of the people – the European Parliament – which decided in the end to do its job beautifully, and represent the people against special interests.
The road to today’s victory was hard and by no means certain.
Six months ago, the situation looked very dark. It was all but certain that ACTA would pass unnoticed in silence. The forces fighting for citizens’ rights tried to have it referred to the European Court of Justice in order to test its legality and to buy some time. But then, something happened.
A monster by the name of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) appeared in the United States. Thousands of websites went dark on January 18 and millions of voices cried out, leaving Congress shell-shocked over the fact that citizens can get that level of pissed off at corporate special interests. SOPA was killed.
In the wake of this, as citizens realized that they don’t need to take that kind of corporate abuse lying down and asking for more, the community floodlights centered on ACTA.
The activism carried over beautifully to defeat this monster. Early February, there were rallies all over Europe, leaving the European Parliament equally shell-shocked.
The party groups turned on a cent and declared their opposition to ACTA in solidarity with the citizen rallies all over the continent, after having realized what a piece of shameless mail-order legislation it really was, to the horrors of the corporate shills who thought this was a done deal. Those shills tried, tried hard, tried right up until today, to postpone the vote on ACTA past the attention of the public and the activists.
Alas, they don’t understand the net. And there’s one key thing right there: the net doesn’t forget.
Everyone in the European Parliament are taking turns to praise all the activists across Europe and the world for drawing their attention to what utter garbage this really was, not some run-of-the-mill rubberstamp paper, but actually a really dangerous piece of proposed legislation.
Everybody thanks the activists for that. Each and every one of us has every reason to feel proud today. Today, we stood up for our most basic rights against corporate giants, and won. Europe celebrates a day of independence from American special interests.
Congratulations to all of us, and thanks to all brothers and sisters on the barricades across the world who made this happen.