After all of the announcements of ACTA’s death, one would wonder why anybody would have felt the need to turn up to the anti-ACTA demonstrations today. In April, the European Parliamentarian in charge of the ACTA dossier said that ACTA was dead. In May, the European Commissioner for the Information Society, Neelie Kroes, said that ACTA was dead. Now, in June, four different European Parliament Committees rejected ACTA. Was tumbleweed going to be the only participant at the ACTA demonstrations?
With all of this reassurance that ACTA is no longer a danger, today’s protests were never going to be as big as those that erupted across Europe in February. Remarkably, however, despite report after report that ACTA is dead, thousands of mainly young citizens from Ireland to Greece, from Latvia to Portugal took to the streets to protect the digital heritage created by this generation so that it can be passed on – unharmed and free – to future generations. They took to the streets to express outrage against an international agreement which seeks to cement our broken copyright system into an international agreement.
It is now up to the European Parliament to listen to the voice of the people. It is up to the European Parliament to defend our free speech and our privacy. It is up to the European Parliament to demonstrate its value as the only democratically elected European institution.