"ACTA la vista!", "ACTA ad acta!". Europe protests
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"ACTA la vista!", "ACTA ad acta!". Europe protests

Burgas : Bulgaria | Feb 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM PST
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Demonstrators protest against the ACTA accord in Stockholm

Demonstrations in Germany, Lithuania, Estonia ...

Thousands of people in dozens of cities across Europe protested against the controversialACTA agreement. People have expressed their opposition, among others Germany,Estonia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

According to the agency dpa, only in Munich, in spite of frost in a demonstration against theinternational agreement brings together about 16 thousand people. In Berlin, Cologne anddemonstrations under the slogan "ACTA ad acta!" gathered after about two thousand.people. All in all protests against the ACTA was held in 60 German cities.

The organizers, which include, among others The German Pirate Party, emphasized that the adoption of ACTA would limit the freedom of the Internet. Passwords on posters calling for the defense of this freedom, and to reform intellectual property law. It is emphasizedalso that the agreement ACTA was founded in an undemocratic way.

ACTA shelved

After a multi-week protest surfers Germany postponed signing of ACTA. Developed with the initiative of the U.S. and Japan trade agreement on combating the circulation of counterfeit goods (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - ACTA) was January 26 signedby the European Union, as well as by 22 of its 27 member states.

Germans have not done yet "formal reasons" and decided to take up this far to pause.ACTA raised doubts about such Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

Offensive banners in Tallinn

Over a thousand people gathered to protest the ACTA on Freedom Square in the Estonian capital Tallinn. A similar demonstration also took place in Tartu.

Both demonstrations cunning still. In Tallinn, the participants carried banners againstACTA, some offensive, and some mockingly referring to the recent translations of the Defence Minister Mart Laar. The Minister said that criticism of the ACTA has been removed from his review article on Facebook because "there is no space." "RestrainACTA before you run out of space" - proclaimed the inscription on the banners.

Also got the Prime Minister Andruso Ansipo, who said a few days ago in parliament that the authors critical of the ACTA article in tabloidzie "Ohtuleht" had to eat "some seeds"and that the dip in the jacuzzi could ease the plight of such people. "I'm an author, do notbathe in the whirlpool, I'm against ACTA" - written on one of the banners.

"Sign ACTA, and lose the election"

Their opposition to ACTA expressed as Bulgarians. Several thousand people, mostly young people protested on Saturday in 17 cities of the country against the controversialagreement. "Sign ACTA, and lose the election" - was the slogan of the demonstration inSofia.

The capital of over five thousand. protest over the central streets, surrounded by numerouspolice troops of the parliament. On the posters the demonstrators, demanding the withdrawal of Bulgaria's signing of the agreement, could include read: "Stop the ACTA or we will stop them ourselves."

Protests in 17 cities

In Varna, some 300 people protested, over a hundred-person protests were held includingin Veliko Tarnovo and Burgas. National group of opponents of ACTA on Facebook has more than 54 thousand. people.

The main concern of protesters is possible to limit freedom of communication on the Internet. - Full control on the Internet takes us back to the days of communist censorship -public radio said one of the participants in the protest in Ruse, where despite the bitingcold one hundred young people took to the streets.

Bulgaria is one of the 22 EU countries that have made the signature of ACTA. This happened without any consultation.

Signed "invisible ink"

After the first wave of protests, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Trajczo Traikovsaid that Bulgaria "has signed ACTA invisible ink", explained that the signature is not binding, and the parliament can not ratify the agreement. Prime Minister Boyko Borisovsaid that his party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) to opt forparliamentary ratification of the ACTA agreement, but "with reservations", which in reality isimpossible from the legal standpoint.

The opposition and the protesters are demanding the withdrawal of Bulgaria's signature.On Friday, Bulgarian MEPs, including representatives of GERB said they will talk at the European Parliament against ACTA. "Our main argument is freedom. No one shouldintroduce control over the global network" - said deputy GERB, Andrei Kowaczew.

Head left, and Chairman of the Bulgarian Party of European Socialists (PES) SergeiStanishev expressed his opinion on Saturday that "ACTA is already dead." - Copyright andintellectual property rights over should be regulated, but not at the expense of the rights and civil rights, and freedom of correspondence and information - he said.

Lithuania says 'no'

"Not for ACTA" can be heard also in Lithuania. In Vilnius, protesting against the ratification of hundreds of people. They brought with him among other crosswise of DVDs. It has to bea symbol of death-free internet. Last week in the local parliament started collecting signatures for an appeal for the absence of ratification of ACTA.

- They gathered here, people with different political views, from different organizations. We all want to firmly say "No" to ACTA. This is undemocratic and violates citizens' right toprivacy - said one of the protesters.

- I protest against ACTA, because it is a violation of human rights and is inconsistent withour constitution, it just is illegal - he added another of the opponents of ACTA.

Thousands of people in Prague

About two thousand people protested in Prague against ACTA. The demonstration in the capital of the Czech Republic organized a Czech Pirate Party (CzPS), which demandsthat the government completely withdraw from the contract. The center-right cabinetNEČAS Petra on Monday halted the ratification process of ACTA, promising a thorough analysis of the document.

The protesters gathered at the Old Town Square, where the procession passed under theseat of government. There he gave several speeches, including calling for theestablishment of a law guaranteeing freedom of the internet and the openness of the negotiation of international agreements. They also had banners saying that the agreement "ACTA is a cyber-fascism," which "harms you and the people in your area."

Not only the capital

Outside Prague, less protesty held in Brno, Ostrava, Plzen, Olomouc, Pardubice, Ústí nad Labem, Ceske Budejovice, Jihlava, Liberec, Zlín and other towns of Bohemia, Moraviaand Czech Silesia.

On Monday, the Czech government has suspended the ratification process of ACTA, which the Czech Republic signed with the Polish and 20 other countries of the European Union on January 26. Prime Minister Petr NEČAS said that the Czech government will try to get the opinions of independent experts and find out what might be the real impact ofthe ratification of the agreement.

Protests in Austria

Despite 10-degree frost about a thousand mostly young people participated indemonstrations against the ACTA in Austria Salzburg. "ACTA for the record!" and "StopACTA" - proclaimed the inscriptions on their banners.

Demonstrations against the ACTA also held on Saturday in many other cities in Austria. In Vienna, St Stephen's Square (Stephansplatz) gathered several thousand people. Policesaid about three thousand, the organizers of 4.5 thousand. For the demonstration of a group of hackers called Anonymous, The Greens and the Pirate Party. The demonstratorswalked in front of the parliament building. It was emphasized that ACTA agreement can still be prevented.

In Graz, men of the Greens demand the halt ACTA, insisting that the contract which was negotiated in secret, there is no democratic values.

In Innsbruck some 800 people attended a protest march organized under the English-language slogan "Act against ACTA."

Statement of ACTA issued a protest against the Austrian Journalists Club. It stressed, among others, that this agreement does not protect the interests of users or authors, but only to commercial interests.

Austria is among the countries that signed the January 26 ACTA.

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amagda is based in London, England, United Kingdom, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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