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PP: Epic Winnage

Sweden's Pirate Party will be sending two reps to Brussels.

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STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) -- Sweden's Pirate Party scored 7.1% in the EU elections. They'll be sending two representatives to the European parliament in Brussels.

Epic Winnage

Following are Rick Falkvinge's comments on the victory.

Friends, brothers, sisters in the besieged free world:

Today we won our first important battle for the future of civil rights. The right to be a free citizen. The right to a private life as a concept. And yes, the right to speak one's mind freely.

These are the rights our mothers and fathers fought for, bled for, died for. And we're the proud sons and daughters of those women and men. Once again we've climbed up on the barricades and stood proud, shoulder to shoulder. Once again we've understood we have to fight for our rights.

Today we shook the world of the political establishment in its roots. We took 7.1% in the EU elections on the ideas of civil rights, and solely on the ideas of civil rights, and we've won representation in the European parliament.

We won two mandates, whereof one with observer status until Lisbon passes into law.

I saw already in 2005 that politicians were sitting in the laps of the lobbyists. The politicians didn't understand that the ideas of freedom were important, they didn't care about them in the least, save for when they could win points by being tough on crime and by dismantling our civil rights.

And in this fashion our civil rights have been hacked apart, bit by bit. Our right to personal integrity threatened. Our right to private conversations eliminated. Our free speech censored.

It was time to take a stand already in 2005. The time had come to stand tall and stand proud. They called us pirates because we shared with one another. The time had come to boot those politicians out. The time had come to pass those politicians by and speak directly with the citizens in the polling booths.

What struck me back in 2005 was that even if the lobbyists had wheelbarrows full of cash that they pushed through the corridors of the European parliament there was still one thing that would make all that cash worthless overnight. And that thing was the voting in the elections. And we'd be able to build it. As pirates we could build support for civil rights and demand back the rights that are ours as free citizens.

We'd target the one thing politicians value more than lobby oil: their jobs. All that lobby cash would turn to ashes as soon as politicians started losing their jobs because they couldn't understand the issues.

I put the Pirate Party website online on 1 January 2006 and I posted a link a single time in a discussion forum. The site got three million hits in two days. The issue wasn't getting people's attention for the ideas but instead channeling the enormous response into an organisation. It wasn't just me anymore. It was tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands.

And here we are today.

We're rebuilding it all.

We're rebuilding our civil rights. We're rebuilding our civil rights and our freedoms online. We're building up our civilisation again. We're rebuilding the rights our mothers and fathers fought for, bled for, died for.

And we do it proudly.

We're not finished with this. This is only the end of the beginning: the first major decisive victory for the civil rights movement of the next generation. The Pirate Party is now the biggest party for those under 30. This augurs well for the struggle for civil rights which still lies ahead. For the fight isn't over. Not by a mile.

The next step is to spread the movement outside Sweden. We'll need the help of activists, organisers, and dot-com millionaires throughout the world. We've shown them all it can be done. Now we all have to do the same thing no matter where we live on this planet.

We need to rebuild our civilisation and we need to do it together. We need to rebuild and stand proud or otherwise risk losing the civil rights that are under such violent siege.

Today we won our first decisive victory. Congratulations to us all.

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