Clowns Against Child Poverty were on the street again on Friday afternoon, on traditional unceded Coast Salish territory on Douglas Street in downtown Victoria, in solidarity with the January 31 Intercontinental Day of Protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the reign of transnational capitalism. There were protests in 45 or 50 locations across the continent, and since nothing was organized in Victoria, Shaheer and I figgered we better get out there with some signs and flyers. We thought we’d throw in the recently signed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union and Canada’s many Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA), along with the TPP, trying to raise awareness about all these SECRET TRADE DEALS that so few people have even heard about. Back when Mulroney negotiated the original free trade agreement with the US, the negotiations were pubic, and their progress was reported on in newspapers at least weekly; neoliberals clearly have learned a few things since then, and now these negotiations are conducted in secret, and as a result an astounding number of people have NEVER HEARD OF THESE DEALS BEFORE. Their details are totally mind blowing (remember Harper’s promise to remake Canada so you won’t even recognize it any more?) and people are more than a little surprised when they hear about them for the first time from a couple of clowns with picket signs standing on the streetcorner! Here are three websites for more information: (1) www.tradejustice.ca, (2)www.fipafacts.ca/, and (3) www.canadians.org/fipa. Shaheer and I stayed out in the sunshine on Douglas Street between Fort and Yates for close to three hours and gave out a couple of hundred flyers and talked to lots of concerned people. Lots of pictures, as usual, signs front and center!
There are events coming up (February 10 and 11, and March 1) that the Clowns are really really going to need help with in the form of participants to temporarily occupy clown suits, if there are going to be Clowns in attendance! Don’t be shy! Come on out, help us out and put on a nose!