Protest against GMOs in Hawaii.
By: Mackenzie McDonald Wilkins
July 17, 2015
In less than two weeks, from July 28-31, “the United States will host a meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Ministers in Maui, Hawaii, preceded by a meeting of TPP Chief Negotiators from July 24-27” (USTR). People in Hawaii are leading the charge to organize protests in opposition to the meetings. For more, see the website, the Facebook page, and the press release. The protests will educate and unite people on Hawaii against corporate imperial “trade” deals that will threaten indigenous sovereignty on the island, increase the use of GMO crops, diminish worker rights, and reward multinationals that pollute the environment on the islands and around the world. There will also be solidarity actions across the country.
Many of the countries involved in the TPP negotiations are ready to close the deal, despite major concerns from other countries. With Fast Track in hand, the Obama administration is ready to close the deal and rush it secretly through Congress this fall or winter. Japan, the second largest economy involved in TPP negotiations, is also ready to finalize the 12 country treaty and has even suggested that if other countries are not ready in time for Hawaii, they will be removed from the agreement (they, and other countries, could join later under the TPP docking agreement).
Michael Froman (on his TPP tour this week) also threatened that other countries, in particular Malaysia, will be “left behind” if they do not concede on certain measures prior to or during the Hawaii negotiations. How real are these threats we don’t know considering they come only days after the Obama administration’s new scheme to include Malaysia in the TPP by upgrading the country’s human trafficking status, despite continued violations and the recent discovery of mass graves. Clearly, Obama wants Malaysia to be in the TPP due to its strategic importance to Asian Pivot domination of the region. For Obama, getting the TPP through US Congress means moving forward quickly (to avoid growing popular outrage) and it is unclear whether would mean sacrificing Malaysia, Canada, and other countries now and adding them later.
Either way, stopping the TPP is one of the most important battles that people around the world are fighting this year. We know how much multinational corporations, big finance, and corrupt politicians want this deal. We have to want to stop it even more. This means that we continue to expand the grassroots intersectional movement of movements for long term struggle against global corporate empire and escalate our actions starting with Hawaii and going into the fall and winter when the TPP will likely come to US Congress.
If you are planning an action make sure to post it on the FlushtheTPP action map.