Warsaw, Poland – Protesters braved the cold in Berlin, Helsinki and several other European cities today to protest the international treaty against counterfeiting ACTA, which they believe could lead to censorship and an infringement of the rights of Internet users.
Negotiated for several years, the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has been signed by several countries including the United States, South Korea and Japan. It is intended, according to ita craft, to harmonize international standards to protect the rights of creators of music, movies, drugs, fashion, and other products often victims of piracy, counterfeiting or infringement of intellectual property.
The Czech and Polish governments recently signed ACTA, but put on hold its ratification, while the opposition mounted against the text, especially among young people who fear that it leads to online censorship and restrict their access to information. On Friday the German Ministry of Justice said it had suspended the signing of the Treaty to allow more time for discussion.
The movement against the treaty has spread rapidly in Europe after the first wave of opposition last month in Europe.
“We must thank above all the events in Poland for what is happening in Europe and around the world right now,” explained Mueller-Kuckelberg Tillmann, an organizer at a demonstration in Berlin. “Many people in Europe have woken up to that time and we hope that worldwide protests will lead to the arrest of the ACTA agreement.”
In Germany, a few thousand people demonstrated today in the center of Berlin, some with tape over their mouth to symbolize the attack on freedom of expression or wearing masks became the symbol of the movement Anonymous, a collective of activists on the Internet, and now the anti-ACTA. They carried signs proclaiming “Stop ACTA” or “Right to remix”.
Tillmann for Mueller Kuckelberg, the anti-ACTA is “a broad alliance for civil rights that has collected by spontaneous indignation against this project.”
Other demonstrations were held in several German cities, but also in Paris, Vienna and other European capitals, Prague, Vilnius and Warsaw.
The European Parliament must debate the agreement in early summer.