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Thousands Take To the Streets To Protest ACTA

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the where-to-find-fawkes-masks-in-bulk? dept.

EU 217

An anonymous reader writes "The protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement continue to spread in cities across Europe. The protests began in Poland, where thousands have taken to the streets and opposition politicians have worn Guy Fawkes masks in protest against the country signing the agreement last week. The scenes from Poland and France are remarkable, demonstrating the widespread anger over the decision to join ACTA. A full rundown of protest plans can be found here."

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how about (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859013)

telling WTF ACTA means? hmm?

Re:how about (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859023)

Aside from the first sentence of the post? Fucking retard.

Re:how about (4, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859123)

partly to FTFT, partly to inform: ACTA is an enabling piece of EU legislation that allows Governments to shut down websites they deem to be overly freethinking in their politics (eg positive action group blogs and newsboards). This is nothing to do with copyright infringement but with ACTA, they won't need pesky courts of Law, or even investigation into claims of copyright infringement - just the mere suggestion of copyright infringement will be enough for permanent shutdown and shitlisting of the domain.

Screw due process, Slashdot is subversive and it links to copyrighted material. Hell, you don't even have to go to court or attend police interviews.

Bye Slashdot, 'twas nice knowing you.

Re:how about (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859411)

To correct this misleading statement: ACTA is a trade agreement pushed by the US government rather heavy handedly. So it is quite clear that the usual suspects MPAA/RIAA pushed this forward. Being a trade agreement or at least presented as such it used secret negotiations and participants having to sign non disclosure agreements. This "trade agreement" status is a rather shady arrangement which served to avoid public scrutiny and democratic control. ACTA is not EU legislation. Though the EU has signed, it still requires ratification by all EU member states. The troll above clearly thinks that he can influence the process by misinformation.
My guess is that the building opposition and increasing public awareness following the SOPA debacle will leave this process dead in the water. Good riddance.

Re:how about (4, Informative)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859819)

ACTA is a trade agreement pushed by the US government rather heavy handedly

For those who think this is or would like to paint it as an exaggeration [google.com] .

But does it change anything? (5, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859021)

These protests are short-lived and I wonder if they end up doing any good. I am against ACTA and I have called my congressman as has my son to ask him to not support it. Interestingly, he knew little about it and wanted information. We had a fairly long call. At the end of the call he said that he would not vote for it. How many others in congress are not aware of what's in this bill? Protesting is well and good but I think making phone calls, emails, etc. are also very, very important. We can get to folks in congress one phone call at a time and put ACTA out of our misery.

Re:But does it change anything? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859053)

Even if it doesn't change anything, symbolically its HUGE.

Remember how the media tried to downplay Occupy Wall Street as just a money issue? Well if something as technical as ACTA/SOPA can mobilize people, what does that say about sitting governments and future elections?

Re:But does it change anything? (1, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859089)

media tried to downplay Occupy Wall Street as just a money issue?

Downplay? The whole thing has been a media event from the beginning.

Re:But does it change anything? (1, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859161)

There were members of the media participating as well. And while I am pretty much in agreement with a lot of the core stuff that the occupy movement opposes, I do not think that a member of the media should report on something that they are participating in. I don't see how they can remain objective. That objectivity, a crucial component of critical thinking, needs to be there so that they can ferret out anything that might go against some of their own beliefs. I teach, among other psych classes, social psychology. In that course we discuss how our biases get in our way and how we can get blind-sighted by them. We tend to see our own group as diverse and heterogeneous while we view the "outgroup" as a monolithic block on unthinking lemmings. We know we do that so we have to correct for that bias.

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859225)

What are you talking about? "Members of the media" participating? A few...but it was not widespread. Or do you mean by virtue of the fact that they were on the scene and the fascist NYPD arrested them for doing their duty as journalists that they were participating...well, I think you need to rethink your paradigm of what it means to be participating.

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

Lucidus (681639) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859293)

The phrase is 'blind-sided.'

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859219)

Really, no. It was about a month until the media (reluctantly) mentioned it at all. The mainstream media had to be shamed into covering it. Many are not aware that the Occupy movement is ongoing in many cities.

Re:But does it change anything? (5, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859543)

Many are also not aware that media clampdown during occupy wall street reporting dropped USA from 20th to 47th spot in yearly Reporters without Borders study. It's officially a third world country in terms of press freedom now, stuck somewhere between Ghana and Haiti.

It's quite sad how USA still sees itself as a paragon of freedom, and often complains about other countries clamping down on their press.

http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2011-2012,1043.html [rsf.org]

Re:But does it change anything? (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860091)

It's officially a third world country in terms of press freedom now

No, it's pretty much the definition of a first world country. The term "third world" has pretty much lost all meaning after the end of the Cold War. At best, it's a vague synonym for "undeveloped country'. At worst, it's nothing but a pejorative.

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Interesting)

qbast (1265706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859093)

In Poland both media and politicians are already trying to downplay it too. Either as bunch of thieves who are worried that gold days of getting stuff for free are going to end or as bunch of easily manipulated young idiots who don't even know what they are protesting.

Low attendance... (1)

Moskit (32486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859259)

Yet another problem is that while tens if thousands "like" the event on social sites and promise to protest, there is only a hundred to a few hundred who actually come and do.
Media has a field day saying that "would-be-protesters" do not walk their talk.

Main influence could be that young people try to defend their freedom (=internet) during the next elections - if they remember about it in 3.5 years time.

Re:Low attendance... (4, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859463)

Actually in this case attendance was not a problem - tens of thousands physically showed up. It was also done with remarkably little violence, so at least media could not spin it as violent hooligans rioting.

Re:Low attendance... (3, Interesting)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859667)

and maybe because of that media is not interested to report about it :(
I see remarkably little in mainstream media about any of this

Re:But does it change anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859765)

And you can just sit in front of computer, well done. And do nothing

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859431)

Remember how the media tried to downplay Occupy Wall Street as just a money issue?

Yeah! And from that, we got sweeping fiscal and economic changes through Congress, like the... um... that one bill... which... well, there was the Senate hearing that... no, wait, that didn't happen, either... um, there was the public! Yeah! They were all on the protesters' side! I mean, after they lost most of the public with an incoherent message at first... and the fact that none of them could agree on a message for a month or two... and... um...

Look, it was jut really really good, all right?!? It did a lot of really good things, and those things were... they were... really good, that's all! Yeah!

Re:But does it change anything? (5, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859629)

The media didn't downplay, they outright ignored. Worked too. The cops moved in and busted some heads and the whole thing fizzled out. Occupy Wall Street wasn't about a few anti-1% protests. It was about changing America's economic narrative: e.g. work hard and play by the rules and you'll succeed. It was about letting the 99% know the deck was stacked against them; and that no matter how hard they worked they'd keep losing ground. The American Ruling class figured that out right quick and squashed it.

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859091)

see thats the problem right there, they dont know, but will happily vote for it cause bubba next to them supports it and maybe they got a little money to pad their wallets as well

its pathetic that people have to call them to inform them how to do their effin jobs

Not a bill; Congress was never asked. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859153)

The problem is that ACTA is being touted as executive agreement which the president has already signed. IIRC a bunch of senators were even denied access to the ACTA negotiations as a matter of "national security." Obama has essentially given congress the finger.

Re:Not a bill; Congress was never asked. (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859275)

Obama has essentially given congress the finger.

$PRESIDENT, congress and the judicial branches all give the US people the finger.

obama does not matter. bush would have fucked us over, too. and clinton, and etc etc.

people stop thinking that an individual matters, anymore. the whole system is slanted to the rich and powerful and this president or that party does not matter. they are DISTRACTIONS to keep us fighting with each other.

Re:Not a bill; Congress was never asked. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859499)

I can't disagree with this... Perhaps it has something to do with the size of the government... and the amount of power that it wields. And you want to give it healthcare too.... :\

Re:Not a bill; Congress was never asked. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860089)

All I want is for them to stop discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. That's what forces people to stay in a working environment they hate, hampering everyone's productivity.

Re:Not a bill; Congress was never asked. (5, Interesting)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859607)

they are DISTRACTIONS to keep us fighting with each other.

This. A thousand times this. There are no left or right. There are no republicans or democrats. It's all distractions from the real problem, which are the sleezy puppet masters that we do not see.

Re:Not a bill; Congress was never asked. (3, Insightful)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860221)

Douglas Adams was right all along with his post of Galactic President: "a role that involves no power whatsoever, and merely requires the incumbent to attract attention so no one wonders who's really in charge"

Re:But does it change anything? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859185)

Yes, these protests do something. They show people that they are not alone in their anger towards the politicians who are selling them out. When the Swedish Pirate Party formed, it showed people in other countries that proper representation of the internet affine generations is possible, and Pirate Parties formed in other countries. People no longer believe that they are tiny minority whose interests are being trampled. They see other people who think alike. When the German Pirate Party made it into the senate of Berlin, it created a turmoil among the incumbent parties. A flurry of "me too" promises resulted and the parties which had ridiculed the Pirate Party before the election tried to suck up to the "new" voters. It hurts to lose a couple percent points of the votes to a new party. The protests in Poland may well remove people from office, as they're not just about ACTA, but about Poland's signature in violation of the decision of the expert commission of Poland's parliament. The anger is also about the USA's meddling, and ACTA will cause the USA to lose some standing in the world, this time not amongst the countries which it already perceives as enemies, but among "friends".

Re:But does it change anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859187)

Unfortunately the way ACTA is being done doesn't require a vote by congress, merely the signature of the president, and Obama has already signed it. It may already be too late for the U.S.

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859201)

I guess he wouldn't vote for it since it's not a bill before either house of Congress. It's a trade agreement which was already signed by Obama on October 1, 2011 despite the treaty not being ratified by the Senate.

Despite the scary headline, the following article was a decent summary of the issues.

Obama Tries to Bypass Congress with Deadly Global Internet Treaty ACTA [thenewamerican.com]

Hopefully, there will be constitutional challenge to the Obama administration as to whether the trade agreement is an "executive agreement" or not. Frankly, with the temporary defeat of SOPA and PIPA, I don't see how the US can fulfill the terms of ACTA (see what they did there?)

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859351)

Please, how the fuck did this get rated +5 Interesting? The guy is clearly lying about talking to his congressman since ACTA is not legislation coming up for a vote, but is a trade agreement already signed by Obama last October. It can't be put out of its misery in the US unless it's taken to the Supreme Court on the basis of whether it should have been ratified by the Senate before signing. So don't bother to call your ignorant paid-off "congressman", get out in the streets and let your voice be heard.

Re:But does it change anything? (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860327)

I don't know about ACTA in particular, but treaties in general are signed first and ratified later. For example Kyoto was signed by the US but was never ratified.

Obama has already signed it - illegally (4, Informative)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859567)

He signed it months ago, as a matter of fact. Before all the publicity surrounding SOPA and PIPA.

He's been doing a lot of that lately, ignoring the Constitution.

Source: http://www.infowars.com/obama-signs-global-internet-treaty-worse-than-sopa/ [infowars.com]

Re:But does it change anything? (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859679)

I call my European MP and he said he received tons of calls already. He was honest "we didn't do our homework on this yet, but we are already critical of it because of its part on generic drugs."

Protests are not enough to withdraw a law, but they show that the issue is not minor either. There are tons of text being voted. More often than not, representative just vote along their party's line. When they see protests, there is a chance they will investigate a bit further. And when they investigate even a slight bit further, if they just google 'ACTA' they'll find a tone of things to be critical of.

Sign the petition at Avaaz (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859845)

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet_spread/

They wanted to have 500 thousand names, but it's over 940k names now.

The names will be presented to the European Parliament in Brussels.

Also: I've made a promise to myself. If ACTA or other "anti-piracy" (=pro-censorship) laws go through, I will STOP buying music and movies. I will also stop going to the cinema. I don't need more entertainment, I got my existing albums, DVDs and books, all paid for. I'll just treasure those more as works of art instead of a throw-away product. Not a penny more to the parasites.

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Interesting)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859985)

These protests are short-lived and I wonder if they end up doing any good. I am against ACTA and I have called my congressman as has my son to ask him to not support it.

WE THE PEOPLE of POLAND didn't have time for that. ACTA was signed behind our backs. Some of us (myself included) sent letters to our ambassador in Tokyo asking not to sign. They all flicked us. There is a considerable number of us (myself included) who not only want ACTA rejected but also want the regime changed. Go figure.

ACTA Represents the End... (5, Interesting)

kuleiana (629890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859043)

ACTA represents the end of political power as we knew it, growing up. ACTA, the NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, and the inconcievably invasive H.B. 2288 (which I am ashamed to say originated here in Hawaii) represent some of the best efforts by the 1% to control what we say and do, especially online. What hubris!

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (5, Insightful)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859085)

Can we also get rid of the counterfeit politicians who are selling out to big business?

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859693)

Yes, ACTA them the hell out!

Wonder how taking down a politician happens in practice tho ...?

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (4, Informative)

Rik Rohl (1399705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860013)

With a 9mm vote.

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859095)

correction: the end of our *illusion* of being able to be represented and have a say in how we are 'governed'.

I submit that mankind has been this way since we evolved from ooze. its always been about competition and conquest and domination. look at nature; we are not so different from animals, in this respect.

our society, all over the world, is in constant conflict with wanting to be at peace with each other, while also wanting to dominate each other. such a delicate balance and its often not achievable.

what has happened is that the filteration of this concept is being bypassed. people can directly read and understand what the powers 'up there' have in mind and how they view us surfs^Hserfs.

overbearing rulers have always, always been the norm. what's changed is that we all, collectively, are *realizing* that.

yes, it will cause class warfare. and that, too, has always been a continual struggle in the history of man.

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (5, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859535)

And that is why the common man should have the right to bear arms. Tread on us will they?

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859635)

That used to work back when guns were all about the same size.

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (1)

shogun (657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860417)

Back when this this [wikipedia.org] was made?

Re:ACTA Represents the End... (4, Interesting)

kuleiana (629890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860067)

Mahalo for the correction/clarifications (esp. i.e. the *illusion* of being represented fairly, or at all, by our phony "representatives" in Washington, D.C., in the State Capitol, and the local governments); it's very telling that these people whom we have trusted for years, no matter what their claimed political bent, is ultimately serving as public relations agents for the top one hundredth of one percent of the wealthiest, internationally. Scams like our current taxation system, phony environmental "regulations" which actually *deregulate* and allow much worse pollution to occur, and anti-discrimination legislation which actually winds up *creating* hatred and resentment... In the past, we were simply told that we were not "holy" or "pure" enough; these days, we're not "law-abiding" or "in a high enough tax bracket". In the absence of scientific knowledge--when you could prevent people from knowing something by simply burning down the library [i.e. the Library at Alexandria] and hoping that no-one had managed to make copies of the books inside first--now these same facetious people are attempting to burn down vast swaths of the Internet simple because they do not like what people are saying. As the censorship of our free speech becomes more obvious, the illegal detainment of people like the brave (gay) soldier Bradley Manning and the mud-smeared heroism of Julian Assange and the overt actions of beautiful/talented programmers of Anonymous, including an new, inspiring wave of incredibly akamai (female) computer programmers becomes more relevant and more highlighted in the public eye. The more that the news cronies refuse to cover the thousands of daily protests involving thousands of Occupy demonstrators in thousands of locations around the world, the more important this type of thinking becomes in my mind. I just don't understand how these people keep going; I mean, when it comes down to it, the foundation of all those peoples' lives is only money. As a member of a sociopolitical party which by definition can only ever include: 307,000,000 people in the U.S. (times) .01% = 30,700 top wealthiest people in the U.S. 7,000,000,000 people in the world (times) .01% = 700,000 top wealthier people in the world; ...that's a huge minority. Especially once they start looking around at all the people they've screwed and continue to screw, pretty soon all their bankers, lawyers, buddies, gardeners and pals who make slightly to much less than them will start realizing who it is that's been messing with their finances, their medical health, their families, and their freedom in order to keep their bosses in charge all over the world. Deliberately. Deliberately. How long after this realization hits the supporters of the top .0001 (i.e. me and you and 99.99% of the rest of us on this Earth) will we tolerate these phony revolutions, these assassinations, these character assassinations, this mutual atta-boy backslapping and disgusting Real Housewives international jet-setting while the rest of us try to afford a single bag of poi (which now costs $9 in our local grocery store and is no longer affordable)? It won't take long for people to realize that this economic prison is just as illusory as the other ones those people have created for us to believe in and so peacefully slot ourselves into at their demand. I, personally, will be much more aware of political pandering to my liberalism, my homosexuality, my economic status, and I will not be supporting those who say one thing and do another. If Hawaii is going to start keeping track of every website that we visit from now on, I demand a list of every website that our public legislators visit, and those of the lobbyists who pay them. I want this "public record" to include those unexpurgated records of our highest politicians and religious leaders, alongside our own. Only then will people see how disgustingly filthy this system is, from bottom to top.

Good to see someone standing up against this junk (5, Interesting)

Strych9 (126433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859083)

While artists and such do deserve a right to be able to make a fair shake on what they produce, why should patentable items only have a 20 year shelf life while a song have 100+ years of protection?

This is insane.

That should give the entertainment/content industry pause, if there was a strong united Internet demand for fair copyright terms.

That should give some pause to those trying to hijack the production and distribution of ideas.

Re:Good to see someone standing up against this ju (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859221)

Patents are much different than copyrights and both are too long. The purpose for both is to provide incentive to create more and provide their use to the public after that time. Lengthy durations actually do the opposite.

Re:Good to see someone standing up against this ju (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859245)

why should patentable items only have a 20 year shelf life

You say it as if the moment a patent expires, any products covered by that patent become unprofitable to sell. There are a lot of counterexamples to this statement...

if there was a strong united Internet demand for fair copyright terms.

Copyrights are dead and everyone knows it. Trying to enforce copyrights, as originally envisioned, is as crazy as trying to tell people that they are not allowed to drink their tap water. It is not going to work. In the worst case -- the one where we continue to have copyrights -- we need to turn copyright infringement into an offense that you receive a ticket for, like parking your car in the wrong place. The better alternative is to develop a new system for compensating artists and ensuring public access to arts and useful sciences.

Re:Good to see someone standing up against this ju (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859677)

why should patentable items only have a 20 year shelf life

You say it as if the moment a patent expires, any products covered by that patent become unprofitable to sell. There are a lot of counterexamples to this statement...

No, I think he meant to suggest that if a 20 year monopoly provides sufficient enticement for producers of physical creative products, then it sure ought to be plenty for producers of more ephemeral creative works like books, songs, and movies.

Re:Good to see someone standing up against this ju (5, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859263)

You know, you bring up a good point. If the internet community can try to fight with legislation of their own - legislation that would limit copyrights and extend fair use and public domain - then these media giants might find that they've awakened a sleeping giant. Not only should we be contacting our congressmen and telling them what to oppose, but we should also be telling them what type of changes we want made in regards to copyright.

Even if the endeavor isn't successful, imagine how scared shitless the MPAA would be if we could get guys like Ron Paul and Ron Wyden to introduce a bill that would get rid of the Mickey Mouse Protection Act or other such nonsense. Furthermore, if we can convince guys like that to vocally campaign on these issues, it would do a lot towards raising awareness.

Re:Good to see someone standing up against this ju (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859271)

While artists and such do deserve a right to be able to make a fair shake on what they produce

- what does that have to do with government enforcing copyright?

Re:Good to see someone standing up against this ju (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859307)

why should patentable items only have a 20 year shelf life while a song have 100+ years of protection?

It's easy. For every patent with an owner who wants that patent extended, there are half-a-dozen other companies who don't want that patent extended.

For every copyrighted book or song, there is a party strongly interested in extending the copyright of that item, but not too many who would profit by having it shortened. Copyright is easy to work around by making your own thing. Thus there are groups who really want their copyright extended, but there is no group who wants the copyright shortened (yeah, maybe you personally want copyright shortened, but how much are you willing to donate to a campaign to shorten copyright? How much have you donated?)

Let's do Brussels next weekend... (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859099)

There are going to be about 4,000 geeks in Brussels next weekend for FOSDEM - I bet at least half of them could be persuaded to pop over to the EU parliament for a little bit of protesting...

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859131)

do they pepper spray protesters over there?

here's hoping sgt pepperspray [silverunderground.com] is a US phenomenon, only.

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859251)

Teargassing/pepperspraying a group of 2000-4000 protesting geeks MIGHT backfire somehow later on.

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859713)

"Might" ;D

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859299)

No they don't ... they clearly don't ... Also some nice facts about Belgium:

- It's not illegal to run from the police at all
- it's not illegal to try to escape from jail (as long as you don't do anything illegal by doing so)
- You won't get charged with "assaulting a police officer" if you "touch one"
- You won't get charged for "resisting arrest" (unless you shoot some cop) by just "moving your hands on your face"
- You won't get a 10 years jail sentence even if you punch one ... in the face !!
- They don't use Tazers because it's been proven medically dangerous and useless (they're still able to arrest you normally)
- They do have spray but not pepper spray , it"s some sort of CS gaz ...
- Cops are not allowed to use firearms unless directly life threatened (and NO ... walking towards a cop who is saying "STOP" is not life threatening)

Most likely cops in Belgium will just place some barricade ... and wait for the crowd to fatigue an go home.
However ... if a protest becomes violent

- They can arrest you without any charge for up to 12 hours (not anymore), it's called "Administrative Arrest"
- They can use mounted police which you don't want to get in front of
- They do use a lot of water cannons which are quite powerful
- They do use tear gaz but very rarely because it pisses everyone off including the people living there and themselves

Here is an example of a typical Belgian Protest "retaliation" from the Cops https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2vEdgySRnxk#!
As you can see , it"s quite "soft" and well ... humid , compared to US police ...

No really :) Protesting in Belgium is OK. It's not yet a Police State at all compared to the USA

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859341)

Side note , it's below 0 degrees Celsius at this time in Belgium ... So it's technically freezing. So ... getting pounded by a water cannon (which of course is NOT a tropical heated water cannon) WILL most likely put you in instant Hypothermia ... Not a good time to protest violently.

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859417)

instant Hypothermia

No such thing, but nice try.

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (0)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859759)

Even if it's -20C you can drop in to river, climb up, and not have hypothermia. Damn cold tho, until your clothes freeze and then it's not that bad anymore really.
Tried and done.

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859553)

Check the differences between today's Oakland [bbc.co.uk] vs yesterday's London [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859755)

Belgium sounds like a nice and safe country! :) I've visited there once for a few days over 10yrs ago, liked it :)

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859359)

do they pepper spray protesters over there?

That and water cannons, results here [thelocal.de] .

Re:Let's do Brussels next weekend... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859419)

There are going to be about 4,000 geeks

You mean criminals, copyright infringers, I think your goverments should arrest - if not kill - you at spot.

Protesting useless, need money + corporate support (3, Insightful)

ad454 (325846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859113)

Why do corporations contribute so much money to politicians in western nations? Because they except and get a 10-fold return on investment, by having laws, tax policies, regulations, and government purchases catered to their wishes.

Protesting only value in the political equation, is its dollar value against the advertisement and other media costs needed to negate it. (Note that SOPA was only stopped, when Google, Wikipedia, and others put the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising against it, and not but grass-roots protests alone.)

The only reasonable way to stop ACTA now would be to get some major corporate support on board and/or generate a signifigant bribe fund for politicians that would be greater than the amount the media company are bribing with.

Re:Protesting useless, need money + corporate supp (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859301)

So the way to fix the corrupt politicians is to corrupt them even more? Wasnt most of the western nations democracies, where the politicians are elected? There is where you should get rid of them. And if you have enough people behind that, you can even try to promote anticipated elections to get rid of them sooner.

At least that should work if enough people is aware and in a real democracy. US isn't by now, so there is no hope in that front.

Re:Protesting useless, need money + corporate supp (1)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859739)

We are in the situation now that parties like The Pirate Party are a viable option for people. We are so fucked that so called pirates has to lead the way. Much like the pirates of the seas of old. Did you know, pirate ships was one of the first places in the world where something democracy-like was observed in practice ?

Re:Protesting useless, need money + corporate supp (5, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859303)

This is the argument for apathy, and it's wrong. Protesting isn't just about results, protesting is about standing up for what's right. Regardless, I do believe there are positive results - right now we, along with many others around the world, are discussing an issue that may not have occurred to us, or we may not have known about, had it not been for a group of Polish protestors.

Money isn't everything. That's just a defeatist attitude. It's the type of attitude that, by accepting injustice as inevitable, is complicit in it.

Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859125)

Those opposition politicians in Guy Fawkes masks are mostly from PiS (Prawo i Sprawiedliwo - law and justice) party.
Most opressing, conservative, supposedly catholic bunch of political scoundrels.
Can you feel the irony?

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859267)

Not any more ironic than the fucking corporate media giant and SOPA/PIPA supporter Time-Warner making bank on all those Guy Fawkes masks being sold to people who are protesting the dominance of corporate influence over their governments.

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859335)

Time Warner have copyright on Guy Fawkes? That's a bit long lived, isn't it? Besides, how does he feel about it?

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859547)

No smartass, they have the copyright on the Guy Fawkes mask used in V for Vendetta.

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860387)

If they have a copyright on the mask, then you know copyright has gone insane. The image has been around for centuries.

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859527)

They did not use the actual masks being sold. They used cut paper printouts.

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859703)

http://publicintelligence.net/you-cannot-arrest-an-idea/

I was thinking more of OWS protesters and Anonymous, but clearly people have figured out that enriching Time-Warner while protesting ACTA is bit hypocritical. OTOH, ripping off the copyrighted mask design by printing them on paper sort of lends credence for the need of a anti-counterfeit trade agreement. It's time to drop the Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol of protest and go with something else.

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860169)

So, have they infringed copyright, or produced a counterfeit?

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (3, Interesting)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859515)

Are you sure?

According to my news sources, the faction that showed the masks are called "Ruch Palikota".
They are being described as "left wing, liberal" and seem to have a tendency for publicity stunts like this.

Re:Opressing conservatives wearing Guy Fawkes-feel (2)

qbast (1265706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859563)

Who cares. Both of opposing parties tried to suck up to protesters without much luck. Kaczynski (leader of PiS) lost all credibility when he admitted that he did not really know what ACTA was about when his party negotiated it, neither he does now, but he is of course sure that government is wrong. Palikot (leader of RP - second opposing party) was shouted down and physically forced back to his car when he tried to join protesters.

Why not in America? (3, Insightful)

MelodicMotives (724089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859205)

Does it concern anyone else that Americans seemingly couldn't be bothered to actively protest this very same legislation with any level of ferocity here in the states? What will it take to get us upset enough to leave our collective couch, do you think?

Re:Why not in America? (4, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859273)

Because when was the last time the US or Canada had occupying forces on their land or had had their cities flattened by invading forces. When was the last time they actually fought for their country like say Solidarity movement did in Poland, never. People have had life too good here for a long time so they can't be bothered...

Re:Why not in America? (2)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860413)

The Confederacy was occupied from 1865-1877. Atlanta and Columbia (SC) suffered some damage from Union forces.

Europe taking the lead in the fight! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859207)

I'm glad there are people in the world voicing their opinion.

People in America seem to make infographics, complain on message boards, shout in slashdot comments... anything, as long as they don't have to get up from their computer desks.

Are you scared of pepper sprays? Europeans clash with the police and aren't afraid to get a little hurt to express their anger towards draconian legislation.

That is why when RFID chipping comes to America, people will take it.

They really should protest copyrights and patents (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859211)

As always people are not being logical and are not looking at the root of the problem, which is the fact that copyrights and patents are enforced by government in detriment to the individual rights of the people in the first place.

Re:They really should protest copyrights and paten (0)

ronpaulisanidiot (2529418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859285)

how very kind of you to tell people what they should do and think. and with your signature telling them they should vote for your favorite fascist, you have the whole message wrapped up in one neat package.

happiness in slavery, brought to you by ron paul.

Re:They really should protest copyrights and paten (4, Informative)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859291)

It would be nice if people stopped conflating the two.
Copyright: World wide by default
Patents: Only valid where it is applied for (IF granted) . In view of the cost, most patents are only applied for in 1 country/jurisdiction.

Copyright: No cost to the copyright holder
Patents: Applicant must draft costly patent application

Copyright: Never ends in your lifetime or that of your children
Patents: End when the proprietor stops paying the renewal fee and in any case within 20 years.

Copyright: Even for DRM where the work will never enter the public domain
Patents: The applications are publicly available (for the treasure trove on just about any topic, see for exampole http://espacenet.com/ [espacenet.com] for everyone world wide (including developing countries).

Copyright: Has to be original (low bar)
Patents: Must not only be New, but also Inventive (very high bar; sure, some bad stuff slips through but there are review process/opposition procedures to weed them out if someone is bothered by one). The invention must be described in a way in which an ordinary person skilled in the art can work it (or the patent is null and void).

So, while the patent law is crude, it is working. You don't think that applicants would provide the long explanatory texts that patent applications are if they had no chance of getting protection for their invention, do you?
Copyright law, I agree with you: No balance between society and copyright holder. And the balance is shifting in the wrong direction too. If you conflate the two, you make it harder to get something done about copyright law.

Bert

Re:They really should protest copyrights and paten (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859297)

Those differences are irrelevant in the face of one striking similarity: both are granted by government, both are protected with the force of government, both are a subsidy to specific business models and both must go.

intellectual property misnomer (1)

fritsd (924429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859969)

Both patent law and copyright law are out of balance I think. My cheap monitor is black and has rounded corners, do you think Benq should pay royalties to Apple?

I agree that it would be useful if people stopped conflating patents and copyright:
This following article helps and is very clearly written if you take the time to read it slowly:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html [gnu.org]

And yes, it's written by Richard M. Stallman. Go read it anyway. Seriously.

Re:They really should protest copyrights and paten (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859477)

No, I'm not voting for Ron Paul.

How to change goverment (3, Interesting)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859217)

The only thing politicians value more than money is their own life. As terrible as it is to consider, this is really the only avenue to effect change that the electorate has.

Re:How to change goverment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859525)

If you kill a politician, then I will too. Any other takers?

AND BILLIONS DON'T !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859237)

What does that tell you ??

Sourcing RT is like sourcing Fox News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859239)

While the video is dramatic, it's designed to be that way. RT (Russia Today) is that State's answer to Fox News here in the U.S.

Al-Jazeera just had a story about RT that you can watch here: http://news.linktv.org/videos/russia-today-news-channel-or-propaganda-tool [linktv.org] .

(Yes, I recognize that we're talking about two separate non-U.S. news companies here, but feel free to watch the video.)

[Captcha: scandal]

Referendum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859585)

There is public call for referendum. Already over 250 thousand people signed it.

Protest shown in Reuters material was quite small actually. Many are bigger, like in Poznan or Wroclaw. http://youtu.be/UA4EUZFoSLk http://youtu.be/PD7TP5Xg21g

America! (2)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859821)

America is truly the land of sheep! President Obama used an "executive order" to invoke ACTA here, where constitutionally the Senate is needed to ratify treaties. I'd say that is a clear violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution. Nobody here seems the least bit concerned about losing their right to free speech. Sure, SOPA/PIPA are postponed, but they will be back. Meanwhile in Poland, thousands take to the streets to protest their voices being silenced by the ACTA treaty. Maybe they remember the old days under Communist rule and don't like the same thing coming back with a different face. Wake up America!

From the backrooms to the streets.... (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859861)

...the old days of TRIPs, UCC and WCT are definitely over: quietly dealing in back rooms, and the news ended up on the 3rd page of the business section in the newspaper. Today, people are starting to notice. People are realizing how this directly affects them. People are becoming involved.

A lot of commenters predicted this would happen; Tarkin (RIAA/MPAA) kept on tightening his grip, and now systems are about to start to slipping through his fingers. And it's about time, too.

If you live in the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859939)

Write to your MP and MEP right now: WriteToThem.org [writetothem.com] . Tell them what ACTA is, why you disagree with it, why it is damaging to the country's industries and how you don't appreciate having legislation drafted in secret and forced through in the interests of foreign business. Remind them that other MEPs, charities and ISPs all have grave concerns about the implications of this treaty.

I have done so already, and it would only takes a few emails to make your MEP aware that this is a real issue. Otherwise, we're just punks on the Intarwebz who like to hustle online petitions, dress up as Guy Fawkes and break stuff in London.

If you are European, you wil have MEPs too. Write to them, and your national government representative today. You all have one. It doesn't take long.

waste of time (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860159)

Do the thousands protesting ACTA in Europe really think their government or the RIAA/MPAA cares that they're protesting? Do they think that their protests will give politicians and their corporate owners one moment of pause? I don't care if there were millions protesting, SOPA, ACTA, ProtectIP are all coming, one way or another.

It's time that the people learn who's boss

Australia signed ACTA & Bill has imprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860185)

Australia is almost silent on debate surrounding ACTA.

However, there have been a few coincidental changes being introduced under the guise of addressing counterfeiting. For example, the maximum imprisonment periods for indictable trade mark offence has increased from 2 years to 5 years under the Raising the Bar Bill 2011. This is discussed at: http://www.1place.com.au/1P/blog1p/?p=2548

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