TPP Protest

Lansdowne, VA — Two people were detained this morning after a tense stand off with police while blockading international trade negotiators from entering the Lansdowne Resort, site of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations takingplace this week. Other activists greeted the arriving international negotiators with a 75-foot high banner suspended by weather balloons shaped like giant buttocks that read “Free Trade My Ass: Flush the TPP.”…

Laurel Sutherlin of Rainforest Action Network, one of the organizations supportingthis week’s demonstrations, said, “The TPP is called a “trade agreement,’ but in actuality it is a long-dreamed-of template for implementing a binding system of global corporate governance. It is outrageous that civil disobedience like this is necessary to ensure the public’s voice is included in these discussions. The stakes are just too high for the world’s environment as well as for farmers, workers and internet freedom for these decisions to be made behind closed doors.”

Today’s actions follow a colorful rally on Sunday at the same location that was  endorsed by dozens of regional and national environmental, labor and social justice organizations . Members of this diverse coalition, upset by the TPP’s complete lack of transparency, have orchestrated a series of demonstrations throughout the week of negotiations.

In 2008, candidate Obama promised that as president he would renegotiate NAFTAwith Canada and Mexico with new terms favorable to the United States. Now his administration is negotiating one of the largest corporate trade agreements in history, that would outsource jobs, lower wages and undermine environmental, consumer and labor laws.

Many predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership would do even more harm to U.S. employment than NAFTA. The TPP is being negotiated in secret by the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. It contains an  unusual provision, a docking agreement, which allows  other countries to join. This October, Canada and Mexico are expected join the TPP.  Later, Japan and China will likely join but it will almost certainly not stop there. The TPP could set the standard for worldwide trade — a major reshuffling of our social contract with almost no public participation.

GREAT ballon!  Anybody know what happened to “transparency?”

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