As Chairman of the Florida Pirate Party, I am very pleased to announce we have achieved an amazing feat: We are an officially recognized political party in the state of Florida. This is an amazing achievement, and is due in no small part to Vice Chairman Bradley Hall, Chris Sheats of the Pirate Party Washington, and Christopher Ochman, a tireless pirate supporter in Virginia.
However this is a small step in what is sure to be a long and tiring journey for us all. We created this party because as I type this, entertainment industry lobbyists, information technology firms and authoritarian regimes around the world are currently working to bring the flow of information and ideals under their control. They view unencumbered free communication as a threat to their profit margins, or their grasp on power.
The Florida Pirate Party, like the worldwide Pirate movement exists as the protectors of freedom of press and expression across any and all methods of communication. We stand against the efforts of the RIAA and MPAA to make governments their personal minions for censorship. We stand against the unconstitutional pursuit by the United States Department of Justice to seize web domains without just cause or due process.
We stand for openness in government. All our leaders must be held accountable. A democracy that keeps secrets from it’s citizens is no democracy at all.
We stand for the reform of intellectual property laws. Lifetime plus 70 years of copyright is ridiculous. We believe in expanding the public domain and creative commons.
We believe the future should be a place where someone can surf the internet without wondering who is watching, or use the phone and not wonder if someone is listening. We should not live in fear of our government or our internet service provider.And the Florida Pirates are wasting no time beginning their ballot access drive. The state party's chairman, Ryan Moffitt, has already announced his candidacy for a seat in the Florida House, and begun the petition campaign to appear on the ballot:
It is my pleasure to announce that I have begun my campaign to become the Florida state House Representative from District 86, and become the first Pirate Party candidate for political office in the United States.
Once the paperwork has been certified by the Division of Elections, I will be cleared to gather donations, and begin gathering voter petitions to get a spot on the ballot in the 2012 general election. . . .
Let this be the beginning of the end of the monopolist copyright industry. Let this be the beginning of the end of back room deals and secret operations. Let this be the beginning of the end of warrantless wiretapping and censorship.
With your help, we can bring the state of Florida into the new digital age, in a free and open manner run by the people, and for the people. We can end the old ideals, and the old guard who believe communication and creation should stay in the domain of ivory towers, marble halls or glass office buildings. The future belongs to us, the people.