If you don’t work in or have some background in IT, what attracts you to the party and how did you find us? Maybe we can find a common thread or poll some ideas to help outreach.
I think this is a great discussion and want to hear more too. We could also re-anchor our thinking however - less and less people all the time are not working in IT related fields. It is not a static stable industry and a positive way of looking at that is we are attractive to people with a career in growing and fast changing industries. I would hypothesise that for the non IT career members we are disproportionately attracting those who are more growth and change oriented - Twisty for example I would place in that category despite his terrible taste in old music.
But please do not let this derail this discussion. I’m also keen to hear more stories. .
I know we’ve had musicians who joined because they came to understand that copyright was not acting in their interests as creators.
I have been an artist and current small business owner. I have a degree in multimedia and have as such been online for a long time so not quite sure if I fit the question properly, even though I haven’t worked in IT for others for a very long time. My biggest concerns are open data, privacy, recognition of individual data ownership and social network interoperability as a basic human right.
I don’t exactly remember what first attracted me to the Party but I certainly do remember who introduced me durung a car share from Berlin to Frankfurt more than 4 years ago. What attracted me might have been the idea of participatory democracy, or perhaps the outspoken concern for privacy (something I take very much to heart as I have a family background in East Germany). I then went looking for the Pirates Australia and in particular Melbourne, but it turned out there was more happening online than offline. So I learnt to irc, which was actually quite easy, and now I’m still here and looking for better ways to democracy and facilitate a more formalised grassroots democracy.
Not entirely sure if I count having joined when we were a handful of people in an irc channel with a shitty message board, but I was sick of trying to convince anarchist types of the need to campaign around Internet and IP issues.
I saw the possibilities that the Internet could offer people fighting for a better world. Back in the days of industrial mass media, getting your message out was very difficult. No-one owned printing presses that could compete with Fairfax and NewsLtd, the best you could do was scam photocopier access to run off advertising. As a musician, I would have to sell my art to a record label at predatory terms whilst surrendering creative control to reach an audience. I could see digital distribution changing all of that and ordinary people, with talent, could reach an audience without having to play nice with the Man.
The old media were going after Napster and the Pirate Bay etc in an attempt to put the genie back in the bottle. This had to be opposed. A couple of months after Rodney Serkowski founded the Party I found it whilst looking for any group wanting to defend the Internet. I didn’t join the EFA because I coudln’t see how to get involved other than give them money and try to get elected to the Board. Anarchists, being notoriously difficult to organise, weren’t interested in doing anything. So after a few days reading the forum posts, I signed up.
I was always for free speech and civil liberties, and vaguely against intellectual property. But it got personal during the shit-avalanche of 2009 and 2010 when we were facing internet censorship, SOPA, PIPA, the attempt to destroy Assange and various other things all at the same time. It was clear then how dangerous the attacks against digital liberty were becoming but also how effective digital advocacy could be. Some time after that someone shared a link to PPAU and I found the one party that was talking sense on all this stuff. I think I joined that day.
I’m a relatively new pirate but have in the bast 6 years been aware of issues such as mass surveillance by both private and public actors. I really started to feel the need to do something after Snowden confirmed what everyone already suspected. I’m now a member of the party, vehemently anti Microsoft/Apple/Google etc. and a disciple of Richard Stallman’s free-software philosophy. I feel that the average person doesn’t think about privacy and internet freedom the way that they should; the Pirate Party is pretty much the only political actor advocating for the rights that we need in the 21st century.