San Francisco Bay Area Protests TPP
By Phoebe Anne Sorgen. Photos by Tak Lee (unless otherwise noted).

Dolores Helman.

Because Senator Feinstein voted with all but five Republicans for Fast Track, her San Francisco office was chosen as the Bay Area site for the TPP = Betrayal protest on the national action day when the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the biggest corporate power grab ever, was signed in New Zealand, Feb. 4, 2016.  It can still be stopped by convincing a majority on the House Ways and Means Committee, the House of Representatives, the Senate Finance Committee, or the full Senate to refuse to approve it by their deadlines.

By Ella Teevan.

Photo by Ella Teevan. Banner by David Solnit.

Organized by PHOEBE SORGEN of MOVE to AMEND and the WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE for PEACE and FREEDOM, with members of many co-sponsoring organizations, approximately  200 people came to Post Plaza from noon to 2:00. Creative signs and banners were abundantly displayed.

First up on the mic was ISABELLA ZIZI, one of the youngest members of IDLE NO MORE, the indigenous womens group that organizes sacred healing walks along the oil refinery corridor. In her welcome, she honored our ancestors and the first inhabitants of the land.

Maira Sutton of EFF. By Ella Teevan.

Maira Sutton of EFF. By Ella Teevan.

MAIRA SUTTON, gobal policy analyst for the ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF), informed us of the many threats TPP poses, particularly to privacy and internet freedom, and the process of secret negotiations.


DEE ALLEN performed his spoken word piece, “Plans”, written for the occasion, and later, “Brick by Brick” for Mumia because, though the TPP would hurt 99% of us, oppressed people will be at greater risk, and we need broad opposition, connecting the dots. ELLA TEEVAN of FOOD and WATER WATCH further inspired and informed the crowd about how TPP threatens health and safety. DOUG CHAMBERS of BFUU sang “This Land is Our Land”, accompanied on banjo, and got everyone singing along on the chorus. SUSAN HARMAN spoke of how the TPP could undermine the movement for public banks, which work so well in North Dakota, just when there’s progress in Santa Fe and Philadelphia. gg WINTER led a sing along, “We’ll occupy the streets. We’ll occupy the banks/courts. We’ll even occupy you, until you’re for the many, not the few”, accompanied on ukelele. MEAVEEN O’CONNOR of LABEL GMO’s Bay Area riled us up to phone Feinstein, Pelosi, and Congress daily: 800-826-3688.


(L to R) Phoebe Sorgen holding the mic, gg Winter on ukelele, Judith Dewey


DOLORES HELLMAN of CODE PINK performed spoken word and reminisced re lobbying in D.C. KAREN MELANDER got us chanting, delightfully interrupted by a DANCE FLASH MOB re Toxic TPP, after which she recited poetry and sang. LARRY ABBOTT, a Teamster, spoke of jobs, labor, and unions. Two young indigenous men spoke: ANTHONY SUL wailed an Ohlone song/prayer and GERARDO OMAR MARIN drummed after they spoke. A young man, new to the issue, was glad he came and explained that he now understands that the “Free Market” isn’t free.


Phoebe spoke of cities like Berkeley and Richmond becoming “TPP-TTIP-TiSA Free Zones” (,) then led chants from the Flush the TPP website, eg. “Senator Feinstein, you can’t hide. We all see your corporate side” and “When communities are under attack. What do we do? Rise up, fight back!”  Human need, not corporate greed!


A delegation of ten TPP opponents will meet with Feinstein’s aide for an hour Monday afternoon.  He had said that, in part, “the protest outside her office will inform her decision.”

Photos are posted on the event facebook page, and live streaming of the first hour by Freeman Sullivan, which was also recorded by KFPA.
The Planetary Archives (Black Horse Media) filmed and will hopefully post to You Tube soon.
KPFA evening news reported on the action and broadcast audio clips from three of the speakers.


Facebook page here.


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