History

Who are Pirates? What is the spirit of piracy? Are we like the “yarghhh, parrot-on-shoulder” Pirates? Are we internet ne’er-do-wells who want to stream for free? To answer your questions: yes.

The revolutionary, egalitarian, libertarian and fully democratic systems on their ships. The idea that the fruits of your labor belonged to those who worked for it. The idea of having a trusted leader democratically chosen and replaceable just as easily. The spirit of democracy and unity in the face of tyranny with the Edelweiss Pirates in Nazi Germany. Trying to live in an open and free culture, a democratic and egalitarian one, has always been a Pirate thing. That is the spirit of piracy. The name “Pirate”, and all the history and imagery included in that, is something we will not back away from. It is one we shall embrace with open arms. We are Pirates.

WJAZ radio station in Chicago, IL, 1926

In 1926, WJAZ in Chicago challenged the U.S. government’s authority to specify operating frequencies and was charged with being a “wave pirate”. The station responded with this February 1926 publicity photograph of its engineering staff dressed as “wave pirates”1

The United States Pirate Party was founded in 2006, the second Pirate Party in the world (after Sweden). In 2015, Massachusetts Pirates sent the first Pirate in US history, Steve Revilak, to elected office. Our chapter, the Illinois Pirate Party, was founded in 2012, but by year’s end was largely inactive and never received official recognition from the USPP and Pirate National Committee outside of observer status. In 2020, the party was reorganized into the current iteration.

On October 10th, 2021, the Illinois Pirate Party was recognized as the official Illinois state Pirate Party and was admitted into the PNC of the USPP.