A new, globally emergent phenomena in political organizing has made its way to California. The Pirate Party combines internet and intellectual property reform with egalitarian, Occupy-oriented politics. Below, we present the press release we received today from Orion Steele, Vice President of the San Francisco-based California Pirate Party.
Internationally, Pirate parties have sprung up over the past year, inspired in part by the writings and lectures of Marcus Rediker and others, concerning the role of maritime radicalism in global political economy. For example, the Sweedish Pirate Party, like the California party, emphasizes a reform of intellectual property law alongside progressive, egalitarian change, and a respect for individual privacy and autonomy. This synthesis of cyber-revolution with egalitarian politics makes the Pirate Party movement unique in contemporary alternative politics.
Here is the California Pirate Party press release:
Greetings! We are a group of California lawyers, debaters, students, activists and young professionals that hope to use the power of debate and direct democracy to establish a new political party in our state.
Who we are:
• California Pirate Party is a new political party in California that represents information freedom, digital rights, policy solutions for economic equality, secular transparent government and civil rights.
• Our goal is to register 104,000 California citizens to be members of the California Pirate Party and/or collect 1,000,000 petition signatures to qualify the California Pirate Party to run candidates for elected office in California starting in 2013.
• California Pirate Party is a 527 Political Organization and has complied with all requirements of California Elections Code to campaign to register the Pirate Party as a qualified political party in California.
What we believe:
• Pirate parties support civil rights, direct democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, free sharing of knowledge, data privacy, transparency, freedom of information, free education, policy solutions to economic inequality, universal healthcare and a clear separation between church and state.
• We believe the internet has given rise to a new set of rights that demand a passionate advocate. We believe in universal unrestricted access to the internet. We believe individuals have a right to access information and a right to communicate anonymously.
• California Pirate Party believes in secular transparent government and policies that are proportional, fair and based on solid evidence. We believe that open communication and debate will allow the 99% to take control of American politics and develop policies that create a better collective future.
• We believe that California faces unique obstacles and local issues. The California Pirate Party begins with community outreach and a commitment to confronting problems in our state. Specifically, with regards to California law, the Pirate Party is concerned about water politics, police procedure, student debt/education, immigration policy, ocean health and other forms of ecological protection.
What we do:
• Our main purpose is to promote public debate, direct democracy and civic participation. We believe that fun can be revolutionary. Creating a culture that enjoys and pursues public intellectualism can make a radical use of American Democracy.
• California Pirate Party will host a series of debates in public spaces. We will occupy parks, beaches, public squares and sidewalks to have credible and serious debates about policy and philosophy.
• California Pirate Party will promote public debates at universities and educational institutions throughout the state. We are open to debate anyone of any political affiliation on virtually any argument.
• California Pirate Party will host Pirate Rallies for interested pirates to come share speeches, art and music. An open stage will be provided for public expression of all kinds.
• California Pirate Party hopes to sponsor concerts that feature a variety of artists that support copyright reform.
• California Pirate Party will regularly update our website with videos and pictures from our public events. We will use our website to promote a digital form of direct democracy. The policies of the Pirate Party, as well as the rules that govern our organization, will be subject to public review, debate and edit. The people are the captains of the California Pirate Party, and will have control over its ultimate direction.
• California Pirate Party will offer support to activists that are working to make the world fairer. This involves a variety of resources that are currently being developed.
• We would love to get any support from the press as possible. Collecting 100,000 signatures is a tall order, but we have faith that we can accomplish this goal through our public debates, activist support and college campus tour. Anything we can do to raise visibility and get people involved will help. Specifically, here are some things that any interested member of the press can
• Check out our website and participate in the debate. It is www.calpirateparty.org. It will continue to be updated as we start to gather signatures, gather merchandise and produce more original content.
• Contact us for an interview and/or information regarding our organization. You may email our party email address, email@example.com, or our vice president, Orion Steele, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Attend a California Pirate Party public debate, rally or concert. These will be incredibly fun and an opportunity to learn more about pirate ideology.
• Contribute art, speeches, or arguments to the website or public debate project. We would love to hear your perspective on any issue.
• Donate to the Pirate Party so that we can continue doing something radically different, educational and entertaining. These are the ingredients for a potion that may cure a plague of apathy and promote an arm of political influence that defends the 99%.
Please, if you are interested, reach out. Please check out our website at www.calpirateparty.org. We are very excited, and hope to conduct our first public debate in the first week of June!