Today marks the 5th birthday of the Swedish Pirate Party, Launched at 20:00 (8pm) on January 1st 2005, in five years it has spread globally, to parties in over 40 countries, with elected representatives in 4 countries at present, it's been an exhillerating first 5 years.
I could start with the whole history of things, but I'll save that for my book (which I've been working on for the last 18 months, covering the first five years of the Pirate Party movement), and just give a few highlights, that help exemplify the last 5 years.
I was lucky enough to get involved near the start of things (for the English speaking world) in October 2005, after watching things for several months before that. At first, i took on the role of international co-coordinator for the then Pirate Party US. A house-move took me away from the party in early 2006, and I came back to a nearly dead party. Restarting it, it took shape and form, and attempted to get some mainstream attention.
In that time, I did numerous radio, print and web interviews, and the odd TV appearance, and worked on getting the message out there. I also spent what time I could helping my home country (UK) where I could, as well as other parties. The press release for the inaugural International Pirate Conference was mine, as was the joint statement by the UK and Dutch parties condemning the Oink raids.
After 18 months of this, I felt that the US party had a core of people who could handle things, while I moved onto what was a harder challenge; turning Pirate Party International from a non-entity to a body that can do something. Armed with nothing more than determination and my experience from the past international coordination, I took over a body that had essentially been created and left and ran it for nine months, attempting to generate communication and cooperation between parties, especially in the lead-up to the European Parliamentary elections in June 2009, as well as being a sympathetic ear to party leaders and officers who just wanted to vent.
In July, after 9 months, I had to step down. The strain of dealing with so many different people, so many languages (I'm a terrible linguist), meant that it was a job I couldn't handle alone, but it was now a job people recognised was needed, and so a board of 6, headed by Samir (who I had first worked with in October 2007 for the oink press release) Allioui and Patrick Mächler.
I didn't stay away from the idea though. I started this blog shortly afterwards, and after a year of time off, I took on the role of Legal Officer for the USPP, until a month ago. Now I'm promoting the philosophy of the party, without being tied to a single party.
As I look back over the last five years, I see a party - an ideology - that has gone from nothing but a concept in the head of Rick Falkvinge, to a world-spanning political philosophy. One that pretty much any nerd or geek in the western world has heard of.
|Black = Officially registered party, Blue = Active party, Red = forming party|
As of December 2010
What will the next five years bring? Who can tell, but if the last five is any indication, it's going to be 'interesting'.
In the meantime,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIRATE PARTY!