“TPP Welcoming Committee” Converge on Multiple Entrances to Meetings
SALT LAKE CITY – Protestors with “The TPP Welcoming Committee” attempted to interfere with the second day of negotiations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership this morning. Several dozen protestors converged on multiple entrances of the Grand American Hotel banging on pots and pans and blowing into noisemakers.
“The negotiators in this building need to stop listening to corporate advisors and start listening to their own citizens,” said Melanie Martin, an Organizer with Peaceful Uprising. “Until they show us what they’re hiding and release the text of this agreement we’re going to drown out those corporate voices.”
Protestors carried a 20 foot banner reading “Stop the TPP Corporate Coup Against People And Planet” to the front doors of the hotel, but were turned away by heavy police presence. In September protestors hung that same banner off the D.C. offices of the U.S. Trade Representative in a high-profile stunt.
Alongside environmental, labor, and consumer rights concerns, opponents of the deal in Salt Lake are particularly worried about the intellectual property clauses in the agreement released by WikiLeaks last week.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership stands to massively expand patents, exacerbating structural poverty in the process,” Said Nathan Goodman, a TPP Welcoming Committee organizer. “By allowing pharmaceutical companies to extend the length of their monopolies, the TPP could raise prices so high that lifesaving medicines will be out of reach to those who need them most.”
Last week’s documents showed that the United States has proposed even more radical expansions of patent monopolies, attempting to use the TPP for “medical procedures patents.” The U.S. proposal would grant monopolies and could raise costs on surgeries and diagnostic procedures.
“Through GMO patents the TPP would empower corporations like Monsanto and DuPont while penalizing small family farmers and subsistence farmers,” said Goodman.
Today’s event was the third demonstration staged by the TPP Welcoming Committee since talks began yesterday.Tomorrow organizers are planning to use weather balloons to attempt to fly banners outside the rooms of top negotiators and stage a mock “Funeral for our Freedoms”.
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Photos From Yesterday’s Rally Here:
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