Dear European Parliament: Please reject ACTA!

Demonstration, with two people in the foreground: One holding a sign "Safe the Freedom, Stop ACTA", the other with a Minecraft head hat

The final vote on ACTA in the European Parliament is scheduled for July 4th. This vote is crucial: If the EP rejects ACTA, it is defeated in the EU and most likely worldwide as well.

A few minutes ago, I sent a mail to all Members of the European Parliament asking them to reject ACTA. If you want to do the same, Mr. Falkvinge of the Swedish Pirate Party set up a handy mailing list to reach all Members of the EP at the same time. Below is the body of the message I sent, which you’re welcome to use for your own mail. We can win this!

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

As a citizen of Europe, I urge you to reject the ACTA treaty in the plenary session on July 2-5. The reasons for this request lie both in the contents of the treaty and the way it was made.

I know many other European citizens and people from all over the world are contacting you and your fellow members of the European Parliament concerning this matter. I believe most of them focus on the terrible effects ACTA would have on the civil liberties, availability of medicine, innovation in small companies, and other things. I would like to bring something else to your attention: The contempt for the European Parliament, European citizens and democracy in general that was shown by the negotiating parties and other proponents of ACTA.

ACTA was negotiated in secret, and from the beginning efforts were made to avoid drawing public attention to the very fact of negotiations talking place. The European Commission ignored repeated calls from the European Parliament to release drafts and other relevant documents during the negotiations. When parts leaked to the public, it quickly became clear why: ACTA is not designed to benefit the people of Europe, or other countries for that matter, it is designed for the benefit of a few, powerful companies (particularly from the USA), against both their competitors and the people.

Kader Arif, rapporteur for ACTA in the European Parliament, resigned in protest, saying: “I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.”

Five committees of the European Parliament gave recommendations in regard to ACTA, and all of them recommend the European Parliament should reject ACTA. In a speech before the last of these committee votes, the one in the International Trade committee, Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated that if the European Parliament were to reject ACTA, he would request another vote later. In other words, he does not care about your vote as a representative of the European people, or the opinion of the people.

In short: Those behind ACTA don’t want the you as MEP and much less the public to think about ACTA, and see the European Parliament vote and public protests as nuisances on the way to their goal.

Due to this contempt for the European Parliament, European citizens and democracy, in addition to the disastrous effects ACTA would have worldwide, I urge you to assert the power of the European Parliament and reject ACTA in the name of the people of Europe.

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