When I arrived in my office in the European Parliament today, there was a giant bunch of flowers standing in a vase greeting me. A note on it said:
Thank you for helping reject ACTA last week.
My assistant, who had been down to the mail room in the European Parliament to collect it, said that the mail room looked like a florist’s shop, with bunches of flowers on every flat surface, so I know that many of my colleagues who voted no to ACTA have also received flowers from grateful citizens.
Thank you! whoever sent me the flowers (the note was not signed). It is not every day that a politician gets flowers from citizens for what he has done in parliament, and I am very moved to see how many people have followed Rick’s suggestion to send flowers.
And if I was moved, I can only imagine how surprised many of my colleagues probably are right now, looking at the beautiful flowers that they have received. This is not something that happens every day in politics, far from it.
But in reality, the flowers that I got don’t belong to just me. The only reason we could win ACTA was that thousands and thousands of citizens took to the streets to demonstrate, and started contacting Members of the European Parliament to show that they cared.
Internally, we had been working since the beginning of the parliamentary term to do everything we could to eventually help defeat ACTA. This work on the inside was necessary to pave the way for a rejection, but it was the pressure from citizens and activists outside the parliament for the last six months that secured the victory.
The flowers that I received today belong to all of us, to everyone who has done at least something (big or small) to help defeat ACTA. This is exactly how it should be. Politics is best as a participation sport.
Thank you for the flowers, and thank you for the victory that we helped secure together!
Picture by Henrik Alexandersson, free for publication CC0