Legacy publishers! The Berlin moment: your paywalls are history. We want freedom and we want it now!

Yesterday was the Open Access Button ThunderClap: https://www.thunderclap.it/en/projects/5675-open-access-button-launch.

I’m proud to have been one of the 434 and to have donated 2000+ followers. That means that yesterday they will all have got a tweet like the ones below:

I’d love to see the list . But note our own Cambridge MP Julian Huppert (immediately above) retweeting the clap.

For me this is the Berlin moment. The critical date when the wall started to fall down. A million people telling the conventional publishing system:

Your world is over.

Open access is not fundamentally about free access to the literature (such as Green) or extortion through Hybrid Gold.

It’s about Freedom. Freedom to build our own world where rich corporates and out-of-date rich scholarly societies do not control the means of production. Where everyone, not just academics, feels ownership of the publishing system as a modern means of communication.

Where young people are seen as the wellspring of the future.

As happened yesterday with Joe and David’s great , simple , vision.

I grew up in the time of great political movements. Read John Lewis’ speech to The March On Washington (http://www.crmvet.org/info/mowjl2.htm ). Read it all. Fifty years ago the issues were different, but this echoes the feeling of many of us in the present:

To those who have said, “Be patient and wait,” we must say that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually but we want to be free now.

We are tired. We are tired of being beat by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again, and then you holler “Be patient.” How long can we be patient? We want our freedom and we want it now.

We do not want to go to jail, but we will go to jail if this is the price we must pay.

Open Access may seem a smaller issue than racism and human rights. But we are fighting for our digital future and if we lose it we may lose our humanity.