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Anmeldung Ars Electronica (please check for style, grammar etc.):

Title of submitted project: Change is possible - a vision of a european movement for freedom

Year the work was created:

Type of project: web-based political activism

Description of project: The Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (AK Vorrat) is a political activists group/platform, founded in 2005 to fight the european directive on "data retention", but now working on the general topic of surveillance and retention/aggregation of data for law enforcement without proper occasions, such as PNR, e-ID, IPR etc.

As the largest dangers to the european society we see the trend of breaking the dissociation of law enforcement and secret services, a general centralization of competences, instruments and data sources in Germany and Europe.

We identified this "trend" as one of the largest dangers for our democratic society.

Therefore, I will talk about lessons learned, former online-campaigns (Stasi 2.0), upcoming campaigns, networking - and hope to develop cool ideas and common strategies together with many people and organizations from many countries live on the Ars Electronica!

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URL of the work: http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de

Project Details

Objectives: The AK Vorrat has several objectives:

1. Juristic expertise and law suites: To fight the german adoption of the data retention directive and the directive itself, we organised and filed the largest "class action" law suit at our constitutional court. We are also invited as experts at the parliaments and non-gouvernmental forums.

2. Information of politics and public: We organize Info-desks, podiums, panels, discussions and provide a pool of experts, which can be invited and booked via our daughter-site http://freiheitsredner.de

3. Organize protest and activism: Our local groups organize protests, activism etc. on a voluntary and independant basis. besides local actions, we organize large demonstrations, the last with over 15.000 participants (22.09.2007, Berlin), the next one again in Sep. 2008 in Berlin - and hopefully in as many european capitals, as possible.

4. Networking: One main focus is networking, bringing the different small groups, human rights organisations, associations, lobby groups, expert organisations together to build up a huge civil society movement. hopefully, we can help doing this on a european level, too.

Language and context: The AK Vorrat is based in Germany, using the internet for collaboration and coordination - and over 60 self-organizing local activists groups.

Main language is German, but we are looking for help translating our material into other languages.

Project History: Formerly, we mainly used several mailinglists and a Wiki for collaboration and coordination. besides that, we found out, that we can only reach the masses, when we get our work and protest out of the internet. Therefore we encourage our activists to found local activists groups. Until now, such groups have been founded in about 60 cities throughout Germany.

People: Due to our decentralized structure, the local groups have a large independency. Beside our activists, we are formally and informally supported by over 45 nation-wide organisations plus many local organisations.

People of all age, professional, cultural, sexual, ethnic background, from left-wingers over greens, liberals and conservatives are supporting us.

There is no formal membership, no membership-fees etc. Everybody may and is welcome to participate.

Lessons learned: The web is good for technical and fact-based discussion, not for solving human conflicts, coordinating group dynamics. The web is also good for campaign aiming at a smaller percentage of users getting them involved, but political activism and lobbying needs the real world. It is important to get media coverage and awareness outside thze web. It is important to get the pressure from the street. Sad but true ;-)

Technical Information

Technological Basis: Web, wiki, e-mail, telephone, several OSses...

Solutions: :




Statement of Reasons: The AK Vorrat successfully managed to build up a large political movement using the net and, more important, reaching the edges of possibilities of web-based campaigning leading to the conclusion, that the web and digital communities still must be complementary or embedded parts of "real world" campaigning. ;-)

Planned use of prize money: Activism, info-material, demonstrations...

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