I'd like to send a thanks to the party for backing me and the NEC team for a new term. And to me the team is the important part. We have built solid foundations the last few months for the work ahead. I hope to repay the trust you have put in me.
That trust has allowed me to get to do some pretty exciting things. But I think one of my proudest moments as PPUK Leader was speaking to the crowds at the anti-ACTA rally in London on February 11th. It was moving to see people coming out on to the streets in the UK to oppose this unjust treaty, and in particular to see so many engaged young people. ACTA is now in significant political difficulty, and more countries have joined in suspending the ratification process since I wrote last month. The danger is far from passed though, and the referral of ACTA to the European Court may be little more than a delaying tactic:http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/press/releases/2012/feb/22/acta-referred-ecj-delaying-tactic-side-step-public/
We had a warning of what the post ACTA Internet could look like last month with the takedown of the RnBXclusive site by the Serious Organised Crime Agency:http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/press/releases/2012/feb/15/copyright-cops-come-to-britain/
Not only are we further along the route to comprehensive site blocking, but the monitoring claims were chilling. But perhaps most bizarre of all was the use of SOCA, set up to deal with offences like gun crime and people trafficking to apparently promote the careers of emerging artists.
Already in 2012 we have seen how effective the combination of protest and political pressure can be. Now we have with the up and coming local elections to bring more political pressure to bear. Let's take the energy of SOPA and ACTA actions in to doing something for the communities around us. Let's show we can propose things, not just oppose things.
I know we have great candidates for the May elections who really believe in being open to the voters. I know we can bring the benefits of the Internet revolution to everyone in the wards we seek to represent. I know we have the ability to come up with imaginative solutions for hard pressed councils. I know our ideas can benefit education, transport, the local economy- the stuff councils deal with and voters care about.
It's our chance to convince people we have something positive to offer them, whoever they are. And for many of them to get to know us for the first time.
The better result the we can deliver, the stronger our hand. The more we can show there are votes in what we believe in, the more we can create long lasting change. I hope you will join me and the candidates in the campaign, whether online or on foot. We know getting people out on the ground makes a difference. We have often talked about how sharing is caring. Now we need make sure people in the communities around us get their fair share.
It's time to seriously lay the ground work for pirates influence on power in the UK. That will take all of us, and that is what we are here to do.
BBC- ACTA European Parliament's Schulz criticises treaty:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17012832
BBC- Users warned as RnBXclusive shut down by police:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17039722
Russia Today- ACTA in UK: 10 years in jail for a download?:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoLGQYCk3xg
Guardian- ACTA opposition grows as Pirate Party UK joins day of action:http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/06/acta-pirate-party-uk
Russia Today- Anti-ACTA day: http://rt.com/news/acta-protests-rallies-europe-089/
ZDNet- Sleepwalking in to censorship:http://www.zdnet.com/blog/london/sleepwalking-into-censorship-pirate-bay-faces-uk-web-block/3171
BBC- BT and TalkTalk lose file-sharing appeal:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17270817