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  1. Seed is the source of life, it is the self urge of life to express itself, to renew itself, to multiply, to evolve in perpetuity in freedom.
  2. Seed is the embodiment of bio cultural diversity. It contains millions of years of biological and cultural evolution of the past, and the potential of millennia of a future unfolding.
  3. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every form of life and is the basis for the protection of biodiversity.
  4. Seed Freedom is the birth right of every farmer and food producer. Farmers rights to save, exchange, evolve, breed, sell seed is at the heart of Seed Freedom. When this freedom is taken away farmers get trapped in debt and in extreme cases commit suicide.
  5. Seed Freedom is the basis of Food Freedom, since seed is the first link in the food chain.
  6. Seed Freedom is threatened by patents on seed, which create seed monopolies and make it illegal for farmers to save and exchange seed. Patents on seed are ethically and ecologically unjustified because patents are exclusive rights granted for an invention. Seed is not an invention. Life is not an invention.
  7. Seed Freedom of diverse cultures is threatened by Biopiracy and the patenting of indigenous knowledge and biodiversity. Biopiracy is not innovation – it is theft.
  8. Seed Freedom is threatened by genetically engineered seeds, which are contaminating our farms, thus closing the option for GMO-free food for all. Seed Freedom of farmers is threatened when after contaminating our crops, corporations sue farmer for “stealing their property”.
  9. Seed Freedom is threatened by the deliberate transformation of the seed from a renewable self generative resource to a non renewable patented commodity. The most extreme case of non renewable seed is the “Terminator Technology” developed with aim to create sterile seed.
  10. We commit ourselves to defending seed freedom as the freedom of diverse species to evolve; as the freedom of human communities to reclaim open source seed as a commons.

To this end, we will save seed, we will create community seed banks and seed libraries, we will not recognize any law that illegitimately makes seed the private property of corporations. We will stop the patents on seed.

You can sign this declaration here. See also information about the ongoing fortnight of action for Seed Freedom which runs from October 2 to October 16.

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Tomorrow, May 12, will be the second global day of action called by the Occupy and indignant movements. The first day of action on October 15 last year was a major success as it managed to spread the movement to dozens of new countries, spawning protest camps all over the world. On that day, there were events at over 1000 different locations in 82 countries. Some have promised that tomorrow will be even bigger, but this seems unlikely. Still, at least several hundred cities have announced their participation this time around.

There doesn’t seem to be any comprehensive list of tomorrow’s events, but see these maps for a sampling of where things are happening:
http://map.squaresdatabase.org/
http://map.12m-15m.org/

Tomorrow will be only a part of a series of events that has been dubbed the Global May. The most important of these events are probably going to be the anniversary celebrations of the 15M movement in Spain on and around May 15, the Blockupy protests in Frankfurt on May 16 to 19 and the protests that have been planned in Chicago during the NATO summit on May 20 to 21. It remains to be seen whether the mainstream media will pick up on these activities, or try to bury them like they did with the Occupy May Day protests.

The waning mainstream media interest has given the states a good opportunity to tighten their grip on the movements, whether it’s by means of illegal police violence or totalitarian jurisdiction. Further conflicts are to be expected at least in Frankfurt and Chicago. How these conflicts will be presented to the public could have remarkable effects on the future credibility of the movements. It’s important that we get our own point of view through or it won’t look good.

While street protests are useful for spreading the message and getting in touch with the greater populace, hopefully the movements will be now moving towards building the kinds of alternative institutions we need to sever our ties of dependence to the 1%. Sprouts of these already exist, with the cooperatives, free universities, social centres and other initiatives that have grown out of the movements. Some notable examples that could be duplicated elsewhere include the CASX financial cooperative in Barcelona, the Gill Tract farm occupation in Albany, California and the Global Square project. We need these institutions to serve as a base of operations if we want to turn our losing battle into a real offensive.

See you in the streets!

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Fire on the streets of Athens on February 12, 2012

 

The situation in Greece is getting critical. The government approved yet another austerity package last Sunday which sparked some of the most intense street protests during the ongoing crisis. Greece has reached a point where the politicians can’t even venture out from their offices without facing random people shouting abuse and hurling yoghurt at them. The Greek people seem to have lost any last hope they had that the crisis could be solved by the current political system. The only way the Greek ruling class will be able to push through its austerity agenda now is by brute force. A combination of a general feeling of hopelessness on the streets and harsh repression by the police is potentially highly explosive. One can only hope that should the situation escalate, its resolution will be as quick and as painless (relatively speaking) as that of the Argentina crisis of 2001, as Jerome Roos predicts.

Mike Whitney has deconstructed the “Memorandum of Understanding” inforced by the EU-ECB-IMF troika as a condition for the next tranche of the Greek bailout package here. From reading the memorandum it becomes clear that these austerity policies have nothing to do with helping the Greek economy back on its feet. Indeed, we’ve already seen years of these kinds of policies without any positive effects. Instead, the agreement is all about opening up every area of the Greek society to predatory capital. It’s about removing any barriers to capital accumulation, such as decent wages or even food security. This is no longer even the “fire sale” Greg Palast was writing about, but full on pillage and plunder of the kind that is more familiar from the Third World. Clearly the elite is fully aware that its time is running out, so it’s now simply grabbing anything it can get its hands on without any consideration for repercussions.

On a more positive note, people in other European countries seem to be finally waking up to the reality, as they should since it would be naive indeed to think that the vultures will be satisfied with just Greece. It’s only a matter of time before they’ll be coming for the rest of us, unless we do something about it now. That’s why it’s of foremost importance to stand with the Greek people and against the European elite, including the elites of our own countries who are perpetrating these destructive policies. We must not succumb to the divide-and-rule rhetoric pushed by the elites through mainstream media in Germany in particular. The people of Greece are on our side, not our national or European leaders.

On this Saturday, February 18, people will be demonstrating all around Europe in solidarity with the Greek people. A call out for this event in various languages can be found here:
http://realdemocracygr.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/saturday-18-international-solidarity/

A list of the scheduled events is found here:
https://n-1.cc/pg/pages/view/1173320

There’s also this appeal for solidarity with the people of Greece from the British Coalition of Resistance Against Cuts & Privatisation:
http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2012/02/sign-the-appeal-for-solidarity-with-the-people-of-greece/

You can also sign a petition for the abolition of Greece’s odious debt:
http://www.1millionsignatures.eu/

In case you can’t make it to the streets, you can still show your support via this photo blog:
http://weareallgreeks.tumblr.com/

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ACTA protest in Slovenia

 

The power of the Internet community is manifesting itself again as several European countries have started backtracking on the ACTA ratification process. In the latest news, Germany has announced that it won’t be signing the treaty for the time being. Germany is one of the five EU countries yet to sign, and naturally as an economic superpower it holds the key to the whole ratification process within the EU. Earlier, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia have also put the treaty on hold. If the EU drops out of ACTA, which is looking more and more likely by the day, that will probably mean death for the whole treaty as Rick Falkvinge points out.

Therefore, now is the time to give the treaty the final push over the cliff! Tomorrow, on Saturday, February 11, people will be marching against ACTA in hundreds of cities across Europe. On Facebook, almost 400 thousand people have already signed up for the protests. It’s particularly interesting to see Eastern Europeans taking the streets in such large numbers. In fact, Eastern Europe has been at the frontlines of the whole anti-ACTA movement from the beginning. In some countries, ACTA protests represent the largest street actions since the fall of communism. That just goes on to show what the freedom of the Internet means to the people in these countries where a free press is still a rather recent phenomenon. We who are living in the complacent West would be well adviced to take cue on how to stand up for our right to exchange information before it’s taken away from us.

List of the protests in Europe:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AolqWqLcyaGadC1OS19vakFUY21ITjNHS1BxWU4wOVE&type=view&gid=0&f=true&sortcolid=-1&sortasc=true&rowsperpage=1000

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The Internet hits the streets of Paris, on January 28, 2012 (photo: Alexander JE Bradley)

Well, it looks like some serious opposition to ACTA is starting to emerge in Europe. There are now dozens of street protests being planned in the following weeks in several countries:

http://pad.telecomix.org/acta-protests (the pad only takes a maximum of 16 simultaneous users, so don’t leave its window open!)

Here’s another pad:
http://piratenpad.de/p/ACTA+International+Protests

Here’s a map of the events:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=212120558776447282985.0004b7b33e16f13c710c7&msa=0

In Brussels and in a total of 36 cities in France people marched already last Saturday. Repeat protests are planned also in these locations.

The remarkable difference between these protests and the SOPA/PIPA protests a while ago is that this time the main action seems to be happening on the streets rather than on the Internet. In fact, we may be witnessing here the first time that major street protests have erupted over issues concerning freedom of the Internet, surely another milestone in the history of the global Internet community. In their way, these protests are also a logical follow-up to the Occupy movement where the distinction between political activity on the Internet and direct action on the streets was already being blurred with livestreams and Twitter feeds broadcasting the events on the streets to the Internet in real time.

La Quadrature du Net has posted a great infographic on ACTA here:
http://www.laquadrature.net/en/infographic-remix-acta-lethal-weapon-against-your-rights

See also this debunking of the EU Commission’s pro-ACTA propaganda:
http://www.laquadrature.net/node/5147

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Some randomly selected photos from the events of October 15 in various parts of the world.

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We’re now only one day from October 15, the day of the first truly global event of the revolutionary movement that has been taking the streets in various countries throughout the year. It all began in Tunisia last December and since then people have poured into the squares in countries like Egypt, Spain, Greece and most recently the United States. Tomorrow, Saturday, dozens of new countries and hundreds of new cities are going to join in on the fun. Nobody knows yet where this thing is going to eventually lead to, but nevertheless tomorrow is no doubt going to be a day to remember. And you’re invited!

The 15october.net-website is listing events in 911 cities in 82 countries at the time of writing. You can find the event nearest you from the map. Unfortunately there seems to be quite a lot of inaccuracies in the event details so be sure to check the official website or Facebook-page of the event in question for up-to-date info.

http://15october.net/

Another site listing occupations around the world is the Occupy Together hub on Meetup. They’re listing occupations in 1649 cities currently, but not all of these necessarily have events planned for tomorrow.

http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/

If you can’t make it to the streets, be sure to check the live video stream. If all goes as planned, they should be broadcasting from a variety of locations throughout the day and way into the night, of course, as America kicks in.

http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

Other ways to participate include IRC:

Server: freenode.net
Channel: #15october

…and voice conferencing via Mumble:

Server: tomalaplaza.net
Port: 64738
Channel: #15oct

See you there!

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