My Blog: Tips for Activists – Inform, Enable, and Incite to Action. Observations of anti-#ACTA demo in #Vienna #Feb25 #IPRED

I attended the anti-ACTA demonstration in Vienna on Saturday 25th February 2012:

I had already attended the anti-ACTA demonstration in Vienna on Saturday 11th February 2012.

On the 11th, it was very cold and I estimate the attendence at 5000. On 25th it was spring-like and I estimated the attendence at 4000.

I think the reason for the drop in attendance was that the European Commission has finally asked the European Court of Justice for an opinion on ACTA, and this caused some previous activists to take their foot of the pedal, so to speak.

This is concerning while being understandable.

  • Understandable as it may seem that ACTA has been kicked into the long grass;
  • Concerning, because ACTA deliberations are still continuing (in the European Parliament, with the EU’s INTA, etc etc [there will be meetings on 29/2 and 1/3 concerning ACTA]).

What many ACTA activists and citizens do not seem aware enough of these other legislative changes surrounding ACTA.  I have written about these before in my blog (have a look back at my posts on this blog to read/review).

Activists have done well to inform other citizens about ACTA, but have not really scratched the surface regarding these other legislation[s], nor linked them adequately enough to those seized with being anti-ACTA.  This is a large concern for me as becoming aware of and subsequently deciding to be a part of the blocking of these other legislation[s] are as important to me as becoming aware of and siezed in blocking ACTA is.

IPRED is on the mind of a few, but not enough. E-Commerce Directive changes; changes to Customs Enforcement; the UK’s CCDP, etc etc, all these forthcoming legislative changes need to be fought with the same vigour as ACTA has been fought.

  • Anti-ACTA activists and citizens at large need to be INFORMED about these forthcoming changes.
  • Anti-ACTA activists and citizens at large need to be ENABLED to protest these forthcoming changes.
  • Anti-ACTA activists and citizens at large need to be INCITED into taking action[s] to inform & enable others – to help grow public awareness against these other proposed legislative changes.

The anti-ACTA organizers Europe-wide did a very good job at informing others of their demonstration, including the demonstration I attended in Vienna – this is not difficult in the current environment with ACTA all over the news. Anti-ACTA organisers Europe-wide helped Enabled demonstrators, with printable flyers, printable posters, and other printable literature.

From what I have observed, in Vienna there is a material lack of linking ACTA with these other, similar, proposed legislative changes.

Organizers in Vienna could have done much more to Inform anti-ACTA protesters about these other legislations. A golden opportunity to Inform the anti-ACTA audience in easy-to-take-away bullets about other legislation(s) was lost, and with it, the chance to Incite said audiance into action against these other proposed legislation[s].

The demonstration in Vienna on 11th was lots of FUN. The march was fun and lively and the presentation in front of Parliament was fun and quite lively (with a reasonable amount of audiance participation, via cheering/booing, in the latter).

In comparison, the demonstration in Vienna on 25th was MUTE.

This was partly to do with sound engineering issues with the truck organizers had furnished, but more importantly, it was a failure of the Speakers to hold the demonstrators’ attention.

Speakers seemed more interested in reading from their prepared notes than Inciting to further Action[s] the attending demonstrators.  What a waste of an opportunity! It makes me sad 😦

The demonstrators in Vienna were predominantly a young crowd, enjoying a sunny day, happy, full of energy & hope and anti-ACTA.

To me, to Inform, Enable, and Incite to Action that type of crowd you need bullet points that can be cheered/booed to, not longwinded Speaches.  You need posters on your truck with key words, such as “ACTA“, “IPRED, “E-Commerce” “Customs Enforcement” with pointers showing the links.  You need to hold up these other signs when invigorating Speakers make mention of them.

In summary, to Inform, Enable, and Incite into Action a predominantly young crowd, you need to do it with ENERGY, FUN, and Bullet-points.

I’m not an organiser, indeed, I don’t even understand German, so my observations were just that, observations of what I saw and read in the body-language of those attending. I felt they were bored into taking action, and that action was to drift off, uninformed about these other proposed legislations.  By the end of the speaches, the 4000 had been whittled down to 500. Very sad indeed.

So, take this post as a moan, but really, Constructive Criticism that can be used to help any organisers of future rallies against ACTA and/or the other proposed legislation(s) get more out of the day. Take a look of this video of anti-ACTA protests in Copenhagen.  The video is great, and also note the FUN crowd participation (bouncing up and down):

Anyone organizer who wants a face to face meeting with me, say, in Vienna, email me:



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