Dear EJC Members,
I am still in Berlin and I am in love with the city. It is like a dream to walk in the Postdamer platz, without that infamous wall separating people and ideologies, and breaking our hearts. I know that is old news, but it is impossible not to mention it, when I came here to talk about human rights. Berlin is a city of liberties now and it was not a surprise for me to meet so many friendly Berliners, willing to guide me through their capital city, even if for a few days.
To express my gratitude, I should say some words in German to all of you,but I am afraid to make you laught as President Kennedy did when in 1963, he said to the crowd: "Ich bin ein Berliner" , which, despite his intention doesn't mean I am a citizen from Berlin, but simply means "I am a Jelly Donut". Anyway, I will say "Ich liebe dich" (I love you), knowing that almost everyone in the city speaks English, and guess what? Berlin is as international as London, Amsterdam or New York.
As soon as I find the right cable, I am going to upload some astonishing pictures of this wonderful city. Furthermore, I will not delay in keeping you updated about the ICD Conference on Freedom of Expression, where I used every single moment, to invite parlamentarians, fellow writers, lawyers, students and journalists, to join or visit our EJC page, and of course, to join Human Rights & the Media, where FREEDOM is multicolor and exercised by trully independent voices.
Right now, I have some urgent news regarding ACTA, and I hope you will take a minute of your time to read the full letter from Aavaz organization here:
"Dear friends across Europe,
In days, the European Commission will try a last ditch attempt to revive ACTA. But if we intervene now this global attack on Internet freedom will collapse.
We are so close to winning -- our 2.4 million strong petition has stunned politicians across Europe and halted the censors. Now the European Commission is on the back foot and hoping the Court of Justice will give ACTA the greenlight by presenting a very narrow legal question that is sure to receive a positive answer.
But if we all raise our voices now we can ensure the Court looks at all the legal impacts of ACTA, and releases an opinion that tells the truth about ACTA's attack on our rights. Sign the urgent petition to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to call on the Court to tell the whole truth:
The European Commission spent five years negotiating ACTA in secret with corporations, but in the last five weeks we've blown the ACTA debate into the open. Now the Commission is fighting to keep ACTA alive by getting the blessing of the EU’s highest court. The Commission, well-versed in bureaucratic dodges, may only present the court with a narrow question, preventing it from assessing ACTA's impacts on our freedom of expression, privacy and democracy.
We’ve forced governments in Poland, Germany, Bulgaria and other countries to freeze ratification. And now, if we win this battle in the European Commission, we can stop ACTA for good. If the EU does not ratify, ACTA will never become a global agreement and negotiators will have to go back to the drawing board to produce a treaty that stops genuine abuses but protects our rights.
Let's urgently call on the Commission and Court to give ACTA a full and fair hearing, and make sure the whole truth about this threat to our fundamental freedoms is revealed. Sign now and send this to everyone:
Millions of us joined together to fight for Internet freedom and stop the US censorship laws. We won, but now this threat is back on a global scale with ACTA. We've done what no one thought we could and stopped the treaty's march to ratification. Let's finish what we started and beat back ACTA, for good!
With hope and determination,
Alex, Pascal, Laura, Alice, Ricken, Dalia, Diego and the whole Avaaz team
PS. Check out the media coverage of our 2.4 million strong petition delivery to the European Parliament on Tuesday -- we caused quite a stir!
Activists present anti-ACTA petition to EU (Associated Press) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5goN98YMyvwPqQiW31...
Anti ACTA petition hits European Parliament (The Inquirer) http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2155775/anti-acta-petition...
ACTA opponents present 2 million petition to EU (Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/opponents-of-acta-anti-count...
ACTA approval stalled by European commission (Guardian): http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/22/acta-stalled-europ...
Acta: EU court to rule on anti-piracy agreement (BBC): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17125469
EU suspends ACTA ratification (Euractiv): http://www.euractiv.com/infosociety/eu-suspends-acta-ratification-n...
EU To Refer ACTA To Top Court (Wall St Journal): http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120222-715091.html
FAQ on Commission Referral of ACTA to the CJEU (Access Now): https://www.accessnow.org/policy-activism/press-blog/faq-on-commiss...
What makes ACTA so controversial (EDRI): http://www.edri.org/files/acta-bklt-p2s.pdf"
Please, feel free to forward this letter to your colleagues and friends.