For years, the free software movement rallied European citizens and small and medium businesses to reject a very bad directive on patentability of ‘computer implemented inventions’ (in other words, software) that would have damaged society in the long run. We managed to coordinate a strategy between different organizations, like FFII and FSFE. The movement succeeded in building a vast coalition of supporters against the directive, across the political spectrum. We isolated European giants SAP and Nokia, left alone to support a directive that appeared to be written by US-based multinationals.
This picture taken the day of the vote in 2005 shows the different size of the budget: the big guns had a full boat floating in the canal next to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and a huge banner. Our movement had canoes and small flags.
They had millions, we were millions. And we won.