A report from the Argentinian Pirate Party GA
Dear Pirates and Piratesses,
I would like to share with you the outcome of the General Assembly of the Pirate Party of Argentina that took place on Friday 28 December 2014 .
Summary: we talked about what we have accomplished, what we’re doing and what we’ll do on 2015. The full minutes are here (Spanish language):
# What we’ll do on 2015
1. We will focus on building the Pirate space and the spreading of Pirate culture and organization, so more people will get involved in our activities. Pirate space: horizontal relationships, free culture, safe space, criticism, collective decisions. Pirate organization: digital assemblies, decision making tools, direct democracy implementation.
2. After a year of working on institutional politics from the outside, we decided to NOT put any effort on applying for a legal status as political party. We have several reasons for that (according the country’s history and politics):
a. It is not possible to change or modify political decisions from inside the parliament. Power goes from top to bottom, and legislators do not make decision by themselves. They answer to the political party structure they belong to.
b. If we compete in elections, we’re the enemies of one and friends of another, and we DO HAVE to make this decision. We think it is better to participate in topics we’re interested in and call our contacts in the parliament to join our efforts, it doesn’t matter which political party they belong to.
c. Once you’re in the parliament, you have to agree to things you maybe don’t believe in, in order to survive. In a parliament where more than 50% are legislators from the same political party, one or two legislators will not be able to support assembly decisions. For instance: the chief legislator from the majority comes to tell you “we need you to back this bill”. The Pirate legislator says “we cannot back this bill, it goes against our values”. So the chief legislative says: “you don’t understand, if you don’t back our bill, you will never be able to present a bill by yourself”. How can he/she do that? It is simple: the majority also have majority in committees, so committees will never treat your bills if you don’t back them.
d. We have a tactical advantage: in the parliament no one understand the relationship between politics and technology. They think we’re inoffensive guys because “we don’t do classical politics”. They don’t see another power rising below their noses.
3. We will improve our digital tools to promote participation. So far, we were using tools that are not user friendly (like email lists) because we have political requirements: assemblies must be transparent and a full record of all discussions must be saved. The email is the best tool to backup a distributed record, but it does not scale, and we kave known it for a time. We will finally solve this issue (maybe we’ll use Loomio).
4. We will improve our processes to react to the political agenda in which we’re interested. If something like net neutrality appears in the parliament, we need to react quickly and call our contacts there to analyze how can we get involved.
# What we have accomplished
1. We presented legal actions to unblock The Pirate Bay in Argentina. We’re still waiting the legal process. Follow up: we’ll try to appeal for the unlock since according to the blocking sentence it should expire in 90 days. We’ll recover the ShareLikeAPirate campaign, so we will ask for your help for that
2. We participated in several events at universities.
3. We made a huge online campaign to stop the fracking bill. We worked together with collectives, trade unions and opposition political parties to build a common force against this bill. We didn’t stop the bill, but the people’s answer was very impressive:
a. People sent over 22.000 messages to legislators in less than two weeks. At least 15.000 persons participated in the campaign.
b. A legislative dedicated his speech to answer the campaign.
c. Several artists expressed support to the action and two famous bands agreed to give a concert in front of the parliament. However, it didn’t take place because of the weather…
4. We were invited to make a submission about the new telecommunications bill in the Senate. It was a huge collaborative job to make amendments to the bill, since it was awful. We sent the recommendations to the senators, but the bill is still awful. Anyway, some important points were introduced, such as net neutrality, privacy protection, and a
special mention to Redes Libres.
5. Meeting with the Confederación Pirata from Spain. It was a great time, we talked about our experiences and we agree to unify efforts in order to build a fluid communication channel. You know it isn’t easy, but we trust it is very important to be informed about what’s happening in each country.
Please, let us know your thoughts about what we’re doing. It is essential to integrate different points of view in order to build a strong knowledge.
Many thanks for reading up to here 😀
Guest post: Matías is an Argentinian Pirate
Featured image: CC BY Partido Pirata de Argentina