The Berlin City Parliament’s lobby was quite crowed last night during Microsoft’s promotional party for the Berlin city representatives. Microsoft original invitation went out to all parties and also to a selected crowd of journalists. However, all green-party representatives declined the invitation to Microsofts infomercial-like lobbying event. We joined in by embedded-journalist action, broadcasting a live audio stream and photos of the entire event through netzpolitik.org via our cell phones and UMTS.
Enjoy, Dear Politician! Here, in the grand hall of Berlin’s Abgeordnetenhaus (House of City Representatives / City Parliament) where many decades ago the German Communist Party was first founded, Walter Momper (Social Democrat; President of the City Parliament) welcomed the world’s biggest software maker and thanked them several times for coming and holding their promo event. (After all: Microsoft is paying the city a fair amount of Euros in rent for the Abgeordnetenhaus that evening.)
Microsoft’s keynote speaker was Wolfgang Branoner, chief of public relations of Microsoft Germany and – as an interesting aside – former member of the Berlin City Government (he was responsible for economic development). In his speech he talked about not wanting to sell any products that evening – sure thing, this will happen later and in a different place. Even we hadn’t expected Tupperware party.
Exclusive report and pictures of the event and the on-site action…
Three penguins showed up already in the afternoon in front of the Abgeordnetenhaus, staging an art performance in which they asked for „the Windows to be closed“ – just hit ALT+F4 ! The city is paying huge license fees for the proprietary Microsoft operating system, still runnning on most of the city’s computer systems. This makes the city’s information infrastructure dependent on a monopolist-controlled monoculture and also vulnerable to hacker attacks. By the way, the Berlin city police tolerated the art performance in a very friendly way: Way before the obviously puzzled police knew what to do, the performance was over.
After the plenary meeting not only microsoft but also three penguins gave greetings to the members of parliament. Unfortunately the penguins couldn’t offer any sandwiches.
The collegues of the closed operating systems were unormally nervous. After a short meeting they decided not to let the penguins into the party-room.
In this atmosphere the audiostreams failed us for more live-streaming. We just saw the speeches begin. Fortunately we sort of lost the microsoft-presentation. The essence of the non-messages can be read on the slides: Microsoft provides jobs!
The dessert was marked with a decent hint by the activists: this food is sponsored by a mono culture. (Here is a PDF to print, cut and do-it-yourself!).
At the end we said good bye with greetings from the chaos computer club: „Shut-down, immediatly“