About the WSIS? WE SEIZE! project
Over the past twelve months, activists and artists from different backgrounds ranging from noborder to indymedia networks, community media activists to grassroots campaigners, have been examining ways to engage the World Summit on the Information Society. This heterogeneous grouping, whose formation began at the European Social Forum in November 2002, operates under the ad hoc banner of 'Geneva03' and comprises people and initiatives with radically different approaches to the WSIS and the issues it raises. Some, for example, will take part in the official process while others won't; some focus on intellectual property while others focus on the struggle for for freedom of movement and freedom of communication. All are united by a common understanding that alternative visions and approaches require a strong presence in Geneva during the WSIS.
Some acting in this coalition have been following the issues surrounding the WSIS for a longer period of time and have already invested significant energies into addressing the issues and dangers at stake. This has resulted in publications (see for example Alan Toner's article 'Dissembly Language - Unzipping the World Summit on the Information Society' in issue 26 of Mute magazine), ongoing presence at WSIS prep-com and WIPO meetings, and a peaceful demonstration, speech and rally of 4,000 people outside the WIPO/OMPI headquarters last May in which the ideas of information commons, TRIPS+ and other crucial elements of the developing movement of information activism were put on the broader activist agenda for the first time.
It is not our interest to create a 'information-society' which is compatible with the current global system of capitalist society. we want to give answers to the variety of challenging questions raised by the term of 'information-society' that lay beyond the horizon of possible answers that could be given by any parts of the official WSIS process.
The groups involved in the preparations of the activities outlined below consider that many of the issues addressed (or failing to be addressed) by the WSIS process are of significant importance to the movement's common social struggles and day-to day activities, though many may not yet be recognized as such.
The first WSIS summit in Geneva presents a timely opportunity to put these issues on the agenda. We have seen how the struggles around access to essential medicines, genetics and free software have transformed patent law from being a shadowy back-road of the law to a matter of public attention. The current litigation and repression strategy conducted by the music industry against p2p users provides a window of opportunity to accomplish something analogous in the field of copyright law.
the WE SEIZE activities are realized with kind support from the Information Program of the Open Society Institute