U subotu 6. ožujka, 2004. u 15 h aktivisti iz hacklaba PRINT iz Dijona protestirali su protiv novog zakona o regulaciji Interneta o kojem bi se uskoro trebalo glasati u Francuskoj.
Radi se o "Zakonu o digitalnoj ekonomiji" ("Loi sur l'Economie Numérique", poznatiji kao "LEN"), prema kojem bi Internet service provider-i postali odgovorni za sadržaj siteova svojih klijenata. U slučaju da taj zakon prođe došlo bi do zatvaranja i/ili cenzuriranja mnogih wiki siteova, blogova, open-publishing siteova, kolaboracijskih siteova, itd... u Francuskoj.
Jasno je da bi takav zakon najviše pogodio nezavisne providere i slobodne mreže jer oni nemaju sredstva za plaćanje skupih sudskih procesa kao neke velike kompanije.
Jedna od mogućih solucija bi bila i seljenje siteova u druge države, ali u tom slučaju Francuska bi imala pravo filtrirati sadržaje takvih siteova. Takva praksa bila bi jako slična onoj kineskoj i burmanskoj, a neposredno bi se uspostavila kontrola nad čitavim Internet sadržajem u Francuskoj.
A demonstration against LEN ("Loi sur l'Economie Numérique" == Law onDigital Economy") and in favour of freedom of expression on the Internet took place in Dijon on March 6th. It was organized by the PRINTautonomous computer collective, which runs a weekly open-access space and serves as a hacklab, allowing geek and activist cultures to meet.
At 3pm, about forty people gathered on François Rude square in central Dijon. They deployed a banner saying "contre la LEN, pour l'Internetlibre" (against LEN, for a free Internet"), and set up a sculpture. The sculpture was made up of computer screen covered with fake blood andbarred with an X. Some papers showing URLs of websites endangered by LEN(no-log.org, wikipedia.org, indymedia.org...) were displayed around the sculpture as well. This symbolic construction was meant to portray the "murder of the Internet" which LEN involves. This raised interest within passers-by, who expressed curiosity towards the goals of the demonstration.
Some 1000 flyers were distributed ("LEN: décryptage d'une démolition programmée" == "LEN: decryption of a scheduled demolition"), and various speeches were made: LEN and its consequences were explained, and so was the concept of "free Internet", with a short introduction to its alternative contents (wikis, contributive websites, open-publishing spaces, and miscellaneous collaborative tools). A "geek-batukada" accompanied and emphasized the demonstration, armed with binary drums(decorated with some 0 and 1) and various noise-making tools (such as acomputer case used as a rudimentary instrument :)), and dressed in militant-geek fashion (with network cards, flashy keyboards and cables around the neck).
Forty-five minutes later, some twenty demonstrators who had stayed despise the cold formed a small contingent to walk the streets, shouting slogans such as "contre la censure, Internet libre" ("against censorship, for a free Internet"), "pas de censure sur nos disques-durs" ("no censorship on our hard-disks"), "mes mails, j'veux pas qu'l'États'en mêle" ("I don't want the state to mess with my mails"), or "on veutcréer, pas consommer" ("we want to create, not consume").
The demonstration finally stopped in front the of the "Préfecture de Côte d'Or" (regional instance of the state) to "thank" it for its careful work in suppressing digital freedom. To make it clear to everyone, demonstrators unloaded the "bloody-screen-pile" right in front of the entrance. Some last words were said on the microphone, calling people to renew the mobilization and inciting to export it to other cities. Then, demonstrators split, leaving the Préfecture alone with its disgraceful "present".
As a conclusion, this was a positive action, even though it was attended by only a few locals. It created a visible space for LEN-related problems and Internet censorship issues, allowed good communication with some people and spread some information to passers-by. Most importantly,it showed that it is non-only possible to organize a demonstration against LEN, but that it can also be fun to carry creative actions!
Various documents (call, flyers, poster...) as well as photos of thedemonstration can be found online, on http://print.squat.net/move.html.
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