Across the country and internationally people are rising up against corporate rigged trade deals and the Fast Track process. Through continuous organizing and creative action we have the power to stop the world’s largest corporations and end their assault on our communities, workplaces, democracy, and environment. There is no time to wait. The Senate Finance Committee plans to introduce the Fast Track Bill in April 2015. We must organize and act now! Here we have compiled tools and resources that you and your organizations can use to help #stopfasttrack and these destructive deals.
Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that if the people knew what was in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it would be impossible to get it signed. This means a big part of our job is to let people know what the TPP is all about. Education for mobilization is a key piece but there are many ways to get involved: pressure congress, use creative actions, get media and public attention, create TPP-free zones, do teach-ins, and more.
You can also contact us directly if you would like some help. Once you have a date set for your event, make sure and submit the details on our Actions page. It will then be listed here as well as on other coalition websites. And don’t forget to set up a Facebook event page. This is one of the best ways to get the word out and promote your action to a wide cross section of people and a broad coalition of organizations.
Learn the basics and more:
Education leads to action and action to education. Here are some articles to learn about the basics of Fast Track and corporate “free trade” deals like the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
For more articles, see news. For more resources, including handouts and TPP occucards, see below.
You can also join our “National Fast Track Resistance” weekly calls that focus on education for mobilization.
For educational resources on specific aspects of trade see the “Handouts” section below.
Corporate deals like the TPP and TTIP must be stopped and this means stopping Fast Track (also called Trade Promotion Authority) in the Senate or the House. Fast Track is the secretive anti-democratic process that allows the President to sign “trade” agreements before sending them to Congress for only a brief review and debate on the floor of thousands of pages of documents with no committee hearings. Then Congress has an up or down vote with no amendments. Without Fast Track, TPP and TTIP would be exposed to public and Congressional debate and would never pass. If a Fast Track Bill were introduced today it would probably get stopped in the House. That’s why Obama, big money, and corporate media are pressuring Senators and Representatives to vote for Fast Track. We have to put our own pressure on to make sure both Republicans and Democrats stand firm against Fast Track and these dirty deals.
List of Congresspeople Opposed to Fast Track: Click here
Call or meet your Senators and Reps: Calling often has a greater impact than emails or letters. Go to stopfasttrack.com to call their offices. Let staffers know how constituents are feeling about the TPP. Keep an eye out for national call in days or organize your own. Offer yourself as a resource to the staffer to provide information about the TPP. Send relevant articles. Try to set up meetings with their trade staffers. Always ask hard questions! Here are some tools for your meetings and calls.
Birdogging: Show up at their public events that your Senators and Reps will be attending in your district, state, or in D.C. Know the issue and ask them tough questions to get them and the media thinking, something they are not accustomed to doing. Push them for an answer. If they don’t respond, ask again. Hound them over and over, everywhere they go. Record the response and let everyone know! For more on birdogging see these tips.
Other: Write letters to the editor that put local pressure on your Senators and Reps. Talk to constituents that your member of Congress cares about (labor, churches, health groups, etc). Ask them to sign a petition, write letters, or come to a meeting with your Senator. Organize creative actions in or outside of Congressional offices or at your Senator or Rep’s home (see creative actions below).
Since the TPP has been negotiated in secret, the goal is to educate as many people as possible about the TPP. In order to mobilize people to organize educational events, we called for #TPPTuesdays, weekly actions to draw attention to the trade agreement. This doesn’t mean every action has to be on a Tuesday. People decide what works best for their local area or organization. The goal is to be visible and to educate.
One regular TPP Tuesday event is the Twitter Storm. If you know how to tweet, click here for the instructions and we’ll see you on twitter!
Be creative! Make TPP Tuesdays fun and informative! And after your event, send us a story, photos or video to share! Contact [email protected]
Declare Your Community a TPP-Free Zone!
Communities around the country are taking action locally to declare their area a “TPP-Free” Zone. This is a great opportunity to educate about the TPP and build community support for Fair Trade, not rigged corporate trade that is negotiated in secret. Here are some tools to get started:
More information here
Creative Action Ideas:
Actions can be as simple as passing out literature or holding signs in a public place, or more involved such as nighttime light projection on buildings or displaying giant banners on highway overpasses. Or consider some of these creative actions:
- Pack up a Senator’s office and ship it overseas and do it again!
- Hold a Billionaires for Free Trade event.
- Hold a funeral (for workers, jobs, the environment, democracy, etc.)
- Picket their fundraisers.
- Tape stuff to their door.
- Have a die-in.
- Deliver a cake with a message.
- Have a frog explain the issue to them.
- Hold a candlelight vigil at their home.
- “Drop in and Hang Out” in Congressperson’s office.
Also see Backbone Campaign’s toolkit for light projections, banner hangs, and more.
Select Your Protest Target
Where should you hold a protest? You can choose a corporate office like Monsanto, Walmart or Peabody Coal who are pushing the TPP to expand their profits at the expense of people and the planet, or a member of U.S. Congress’ district office to tell them not to Fast Track the TPP, or even simply a public location that is highly visible.
Below is a list of some of the more well-known corporations involved in drafting the TPP. And here is a full list of TPP corporate advisers, known as of June, 2012.
- American Petroleum Institute
- Archer Daniels Midland
- BNSF Railway (Tar Sands)
- Federal Express
- Ford Motor
- General Electric
- Georgia Pacific
- Hewlitt Packard
- Johnson and Johnson
- Kraft Foods
- M&T Bank
- Procter and Gamble
- US Chamber of Commerce
Hand-Outs and More Info:
Information to Deliver to Congressional Offices:
Labor Unity Letter Opposing Fast Track
550+ Group Letter Opposing Fast Track and Explaining What We Want Instead
These are all great to pass out during presentations, when tabling or protesting in a public location, or to share with your networks. You can update them depending on who you want to reach. Here is a simple TPP Flier. Here is a basic fact sheet to get informed. Best of all, you can order TPP occucards (colorful, informative postcards) for 9 cents each to hand out at your event.
Or you can get specific info on: food safety here or here, environment here or here or here, democracy here, corporate power, off-shoring american jobs, workers rights, public health, internet freedom, financial regulations, public services, and buying local.
Alternatives to corporate “trade” and globalization:
Here is a basic summary of the trade act. Here is the final house legislation on the trade act. Here is a letter written in support of the trade act. Here is more information on alternatives! The Trade Act is one important model that has wide support. There are many other ideas about how to fundamentally restructure the global political economy to work for people, planet, and peace instead of corporate power, profit, militarism, and continued economic growth.
TPP Organizer Toolbook:
Make your own stickers: Click here