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The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

Since January I was busy on several levels in organizing the general assembly together with some Pirates: Jessica Zinn from Berlin (Germany), Jelena Jovanovic from Belgrade (Serbia) and former Chairman of PPI, Andrew Reitemeyer from Pongaroa (New Zealand). We were appointed from the board as the general assembly committee.

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

I did the supervision of the preparations, setting up the event website and gathered information about all things to organize and communicate with the board members about the progress done. Jelena took over the part of social media and communication with potential speakers and lecturers for workshops. Jessica was taking care of the location, social events and drinks/catering, Andrew set up a crowdfunding campaign for pirates, spreading calls for volunteers and getting in touch with delegates from pirate parties all over the world. On July 22nd, nearly everything was set up.

Friday evening, the unofficial start of the GA begun with our social event at “Holzmarkt” at the Spree waterside, where several pirates gathered for a meet and greet. About 30 pirates were chatting and laughing, greeting and discussing. What a great evening and joy to meet so many great people of our movement!

Saturday morning, the start of the general assembly was delayed nearly two hours because of remote delegates searching their proxies on the ground, although we set up several meetings before on Mumble, where nobody attended. A pity, really. And live streaming also wasn’t starting on time, because of technical matters (Unfortunately the Sunday recording went wrong). That was really awkward. Unfortunately, it added up with some dissatisfaction on our Mumble server, because remote delegates wanted to vote themselves and weren’t heard by the chair of the assembly (which was sorted out later). Pirate Party Canada left PPI for reasons (this will be part of another article). To be honest, at this point of the agenda, I was torn apart.

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

But to be fair: this time PPI GA was organized in a way that has not been done before: Speakers from all walks of life, and not necessarily connected to Pirate Party, additionally very interesting workshops added to the scene. That was marvelous. Despite the delayed start of the assembly, I opened the assembly and keynote speakers took over: Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party in Sweden and Bruno Kramm, chairman of Berlin Pirates both held inspirational speeches. They were discussing the future of the Pirate movement and looking back ten years to reflect of its greatest achievements.

The agenda included special guests: Christian Mihr (Reporters Without Borders), Lauri Love and top (Anon Uk Radio tuned in via video conference). Workshops on Saturday were done by Norbert Scheppers with “The Drone Wars” (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) and a hacking WiFi routers workshop “Occupy Wifi” held by Israeli Pirate from Haifa, Yoav Lifshitz and “Crowdsourcing an European Constitution” with Netherlands’ Pirate Thomas de Groot.

Back to general assembly – new observer members of Pirates Parties International were accepted:

* Internet Party Serbia
* New York Pirate Party
* Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia

PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

The assembly did make some other decisions on Saturday as well: the future seat of PPI is going to be Geneva in Switzerland. A statutes amendment passed, which says that the board is elected for two years with rotation among the board members by electing every year only a part of it (SAP-5 Term of Office). After several other statutes amendments and the reports of the board there were the elections of the board:

– Chairperson – Guillaume Saouli / PP-CH (2 years)
– Vice-Chairperson – Bailey Lamon / PP-CA (1 year)
– Board Member – Andrew Reitemeyer / PP-NZ  (2 years)
– Board Member – Keith L. Goldstein / PP-IL (1 year)
– Board Member – Thomas Gaul / PP-DE (2 years)
– Board Member – Raymond Johansen / PP-NO (1 year)
– Board member – Koen de Voegt / PP-BE (2 years)

Meanwhile, I’ve presented the relaunch of the website of Pirate Parties International.

Sunday had some incredible speakers and workshops as well: Bernd Fix (Wau Holland Foundation, Chaos Computer Club) held an amazing talk about “Digital disobedience”, which left a lot of impressions.

Alternate board members were elected:

1. Alternate Board member Nikolay Voronov / PP-RU (2 years)
2. Alternate Board member Patrick Schiffer / PP-DE (1 year)
3. Alternate Board member Adam Wolf / PP-DE (2 years)
4. Alternate Board member Gregory Engels / PP-DE (1 year)

Court of arbitration:

Kjell Segers PP-BE
Jelena Jovanović PP-RS
Carlo von Lösch PP-IT
Denis Simonet PP-CH
Sebastian Krone PP-DE
Tom J. Quitter PP-JP

Lay auditors:

Mikulas Peksa / PP-CZ
Frantisek Navrkal / PP-CZ
Harry Hensler / Pirate without Borders

In between there was a presentation of the upcoming merchandising shop of PPI, which was set up by Gordon, Thomas and me. There still needs to be some translations and technical work, it’s going to be launched on August 8th.

At the end of the general assembly, there were interesting speeches by Joe Fionda (The Hacker Wars) and Alex Kohler (Pirate Security Conference) from Pirate Party Germany. Finally all remaining pirates helped with uncluttering the room and had some nice socializing in the open yard of the location.
You can read more in the minutes of the PPI GA .

A very nice greeting to PPI from the President of Liberland, Vit Jedlička.

A gallery of pictures from the assembly by Mike Herbst.

Bert van der Lingen (PPNL) wrote a short essay about his visit of the general assembly (in Dutch).

 General Assembly  Adam Wolf  Alex Kohler  Andrew Reitemeyer  Anon UK radio  Bailey Lamon  Bernd Fix  Bert van der Lingen  Bruno Kramm  Carlo von Losh  Chaos Computer Club  Christian Mihr  Denis Simonet  Frantisek Navrkal  Gregory Engels  Guillaume Saouli  Harry Hensler  Internet Party Serbia  Jelena Jovanovic  Jessica Zinn  Joe Fionda  Keith Goldstein  Kjell Segers  Koen De Voegt  Lauri Love  Mike Herbst  Mikuláš Peksa  New York Pirate Party  Nikolay Voronov  Norber Scheppers  Occupy Wifi  Patrick Schiffer  Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia  PPCA  PPDE  PPI  raymond johansen  Reporters Without Borders  Rick Falkvinge  Rosa Luxemburg Foundation  Sebastian Krone  Thomas de Groot  Thomas Gaul  Tom Quitter  top  Vit Jedlicka  Wau Holland Foundation  Yoav Lifshitz
Let’s take over Berlin! PPI GA, Elections and Turning 10!

Let’s take over Berlin! PPI GA, Elections and Turning 10!

If you have dreamed about an European summer tour this year might be the best possible moment for a pirate to discover Berlin and its attractions. Starting from summer, the annual meeting of Pirate Parties International will take place in Berlin, on 23rd and 24th July. Right after the conference, Berliners will have another exciting event stay tuned for: Pirates are running for the local elections. On top of that, German Pirates will be celebrating ten years of pirate movement, again – in Berlin.

On September 18th, the election of the House of Representatives in Berlin will be held. Surveys show the Pirates (with their top candidate Bruno Kramm) currently polling at about 3%, despite the good work that the elected pirates haved done over the past years in the Berlin “Abgeordnetenhaus” (City Parliament of Berlin). Current predictions are far from the Pirate Party’s electoral success in 2011, when they reached 8.9% of the vote. The Berlin success in 2011 initiated a huge hype and brought a national German double-digit party poll result in 2012.

The hype vanished just as quickly as it appeared. Repeating it and successfully moving into the Berlin parliament, now requires a good deal of hard work, persuasiveness and solidarity from international pirates. If it’s possible in Berlin to prove to the public that the pirates can get reelected on the European continent, this sign will not miss its effects in terms of a second chance of the Pirate movement on the continent and inspire our whole work as well as a possible success in the national elections in Iceland.

The choice in Berlin is not only for the local pirates of considerable importance, but for all of us. Reason enough for us, the international pirate community, to head to Berlin this summer.

What can you do:
  • Come to the General Assembly of Pirate Parties International: 22th to 24th July 2016 in Berlin, Franz-Mehring-Platz, 10243 Berlin. Event website:
  • For socializing between other Pirates, PPI offers a barbecue event and silent cinema with 2-channel-headphones in the evening of saturday, 23rd of July. Every pirate is called to bring some material to present like flags, merchandising, gimmicks, electoral video clips, interviews, short movies and presentations to show your political work to the other international Pirates in the evening.
  • Networking & Knowhow: good choice to get known a lot of Pirates worldwide. Besides delegates, guests are welcome to participate
  • It’s the beginning of the election campaign in Berlin. Some international pirates are going to use the week after the general assembly for an “adventure trip” to help Berlin Pirates in the beginning of their campaigns.
  • Come and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Pirate Party Germany on the 10th September 2016 in Berlin. Local pirates own a small motorboat for campaigning, which is going to be used for a trip through Berlin. Wave and smile for electoral campaigning while you have a nice view of the parliamentary district and the city center from the water.
For questions or accommodation please get in touch with Jessica Zinn:

Featured image: Modified screenshot from event site.

 General Assembly  Bruno Kramm  Germany  PPDE  PPI