First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win. — Mahatma Gandhi.
This famous statement by Gandhi depicts the struggle between oppressed peoples fighting for liberation and their oppressors, vehemently working to uphold the status quo. Victory comes not because the oppressor suddenly has a moral epiphany, but because they are forced down by a growing movement. This is what happened yesterday when Shell announced that it will be abandoning its plans for arctic drilling. No one would have thought this was possible two weeks ago!
We are in a similar fight against massive corporate “trade” deals like the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). In the TPP fight, we were ignored by politicians and the corporate media for years. We kept building the movement and when they could no longer avoid us, they started to mock us, making ludicrous assertions about past “free” trade deals and the TPP which we easily refuted. Now, they are fighting tooth and nail against us, just to keep these deals alive.
The balance of power may be tilting our way. For instance, two weeks ago, Uruguay dropped out of the TiSA, paving the way for others to do so and in Europe, multiple governments are considering an “outright termination of [TTIP] negotiations.”
Of these three secret deals, the one closest to completion is the TPP. As we speak, trade ministers are gathered in Atlanta Georgia, trying to work out a final agreement. Obama wants this real bad, but, similar to the TiSA and TTIP, there seems to be growing weakness
In Canada, the TPP is finally becoming an election issue (elections on speaking out. In Japan (and the US) there have been protests in the streets and in parliament against new war laws closely related to the TPP. In almost every TPP country there are serious concerns.). Harper’s corporatist government is really pushing the TPP in Atlanta while the two main opposition parties are
Atlanta Negotiations and Protest!
Negotiations began yesterday with two ministers saying they would not even show up, making it near impossible to complete the deal in Atlanta. Earlier today US Trade Rep Michael Froman hinted that the deal might not move forward in these talks due to the many outstanding issues. (Read more on negotiations from Public Citizen, USTR, and Sander Levin
Outside of the negotiations protests are being planned for in Atlanta. If you are in the area please consider joining. Elsewhere, protest has already begun. In Canada, farmers took their tractors and cows to the streets! In New Zealand a new court case challenges the secrecy of TPP.
On the other hand, if TPP is not completed in Atlanta, the deal really could be close to complete collapse. Either way, there is some very serious fragility around the TPP that we need to take advantage of to bury the deal once and for all! That is why the mass actions this fall are so important! We have them on the ropes. Now is the time for the final knockout punch, not backing down! November could be an historic moment so don’t miss out!
- is our weekly TPP Twitter storm.
- is our biweekly national TPP Resistance Call. Join the call to get involved! On the call you can join a working group: media mobilizers, outreach, education, TPP-Free Zones, action planning, and local/regional organizers.
- Organize an action or event in your community during the week of action. See action ideas here.
- Declare your community a TPP-free zone. Cities like New York, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Englewood CO have already done this. We need more!
- Most importantly, come to DC from for the #FallRising actions that will turn the tables to stop TPP, TTIP, and TiSA once and for all! Sign up on the website and the facebook event (invite all of your friends on Facebook)!
See vidoes, handouts, and more info about TPP, TTIP, and TiSA on our educationtools page and in news.
It’s time to break free!