Monteparadiso Hacklab on Wed, 10 Mar 2004 11:34:11 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[nettime-see] [Fwd: [Connect] Dijon, France: an action against "LEN" by thePRINT collective]

Here's some information in english about a recent action carried by
PRINT against a new french law proposal that might just destroy the
Internet as we know it (and use it!) now. See the "call" for some
information about the law, the report for an account of what we did, and
photos to get a better view :) 

Some quick links:
	- photos      :
	- flyers  (fr):
	- poster  (fr):
	- details (fr):



The french government is about to pass a new law called "LEN" ("Loi sur
l'Economie Numérique" == "Law on Digital Economy"). In other words, this
could be the end of the Internet.

This law will hold Internet Service Providers responsible for contents
hosted on their servers by users. It aims at turning technicians into
police officers, by forcing them to endorse a censorship policy. If they
refuse to do so, they can be put to court and face charges. It is clear
that such measures will be fatal to independent providers, as well as
non-commercial Internet structures, since they won't be able to afford
the high expenses trials involve.

If LEN is applied, it could lead to the suppression of forums, blogs,
wikis, open-publishing, collaborative websites and other online spaces
of freedom of expression hosted in France. These are the roots of the
Internet, thanks to which the Internet has been a tool for sharing, for
collective creativity and alternative information.

With such a liberticide law, numerous people will be tempted to move
their sites to other countries. But LEN would also allow the government
to filter and prevent access to some contents, thus meaning state
control over the whole Internet. As of now, only non-democratic
countries such as China and Birmania have carried such totalitarian

For these reasons, we call all Internet users and conscious individuals
to resist, in order to save (and develop!) an Internet of freedom. Many
people ranging from peer-to-peer users to webmasters have already
expressed their anger on the networks, but there's now a strong need to
take resistance out of the virtual, onto the streets! We should show our
determination to stop this disgusting law, and inform widely about its
consequences. Let's meet on...

         FOR A DEMONSTRATION "AGAINST LEN, FOR A FREE INTERNET" initiative of the PRINT collective ( +
miscellaneous angry Internet users & actors. Contact:
For more information about LEN, see



A demonstration against LEN ("Loi sur l'Economie Numérique" == Law on
Digital Economy") and in favour of freedom of expression on the Internet
took place in Dijon on March 6th. It was organized by the PRINT
autonomous computer collective (, which runs
a weekly open-access space and serves as a hacklab, allowing geek and
activist cultures to meet.

At 3pm, about forty people gathered on François Rude square in central
Dijon. They deployed a banner saying "contre la LEN, pour l'Internet
libre" (against LEN, for a free Internet"), and set up a sculpture. The
sculpture was made up of computer screen covered with fake blood and
barred with an X. Some papers showing URLs of websites endangered by LEN
(,, were displayed around the
sculpture as well. This symbolic construction was meant to portray the
"murder of the Internet" which LEN involves. This raised interest within
passers-by, who expressed curiosity towards the goals of the

Some 1000 flyers were distributed ("LEN: décryptage d'une démolition
programmée" == "LEN: decryption of a scheduled demolition"), and various
speeches were made: LEN and its consequences were explained, and so was
the concept of "free Internet", with a short introduction to its
alternative contents (wikis, contributive websites, open-publishing
spaces, and miscellaneous collaborative tools). A "geek-batukada"
accompanied and emphasized the demonstration, armed with binary drums
(decorated with some 0 and 1) and various noise-making tools (such as a
computer case used as a rudimentary instrument :)), and dressed in
militant-geek fashion (with network cards, flashy keyboards and cables
around the neck).

Forty-five minutes later, some twenty demonstrators who had stayed
despise the cold formed a small contingent to walk the streets, shouting
slogans such as "contre la censure, Internet libre" ("against
censorship, for a free Internet"), "pas de censure sur nos disques-durs"
("no censorship on our hard-disks"), "mes mails, j'veux pas qu'l'État
s'en mêle" ("I don't want the state to mess with my mails"), or "on veut
créer, pas consommer" ("we want to create, not consume").

The demonstration finally stopped in front the of the "Préfecture de
Côte d'Or" (regional instance of the state) to "thank" it for its
careful work in suppressing digital freedom. To make it clear to
everyone, demonstrators unloaded the "bloody-screen-pile" right in front
of the entrance. Some last words were said on the microphone, calling
people to renew the mobilization and inciting to export it to other
cities. Then, demonstrators split, leaving the Préfecture alone with its
disgraceful "present".

As a conclusion, this was a positive action, even though it was attended
by only a few locals. It created a visible space for LEN-related
problems and Internet censorship issues, allowed good communication with
some people and spread some information to passers-by. Most importantly,
it showed that it is non-only possible to organize a demonstration
against LEN, but that it can also be fun to carry creative actions!

Various documents (call, flyers, poster...) as well as photos of the
demonstration can be found online, on

For more information, comments and ideas, please get in touch at


Nettime-SEE mailing list