TPP Resistance Action Escalation Proposal

Introduction

Around the world people are rising up against neoliberal globalization and forced austerity. Three major international treaties,  the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade-in-Services Agreement (TiSA) – the ‘triad of treaties” – will expand global corporate and financial domination which threaten the planet and people everywhere. New provisions in these treaties will cement global corporate power, leading to the end of nation-states and destroying any hope for democracy.

Now that the United States executive branch has Fast Track authority, the ‘triad of treaties” can become law unless we stop them.

Although we lost the Fast Track battle, we learned from it that it will take more than visiting members of Congress, phone calls, letters, rallies and protests to stop these treaties, and we built a strong and diverse base of people and organizations opposed to these treaties.

This action escalation proposal was developed by Popular Resistance, the Flush the TPP campaign and participants in the National TPP Resistance organizing calls. The proposal is designed to facilitate a common strategy and collaboration of activity in such a way that is flexible so all people and organizations can participate.

The goal is to change the political culture so that it is impossible for Congress to pass the triad of treaties. To accomplish this, we will raise awareness of neoliberal globalization and its consequences, build an intersectional movement that collaborates with the international community, improve our skills and organize effective mass actions. Beyond that, no matter the outcome of this fight, the work will develop movement infrastructure that will continue to oppose the neoliberal model of globalization and create alternatives that are more democratic, sustainable and just.

Timeline

The first treaty to be completed will likely be the TPP. It may be completed this summer and come to US Congress this fall. The Fast Track process can take up to five months (this is if both houses of Congress use all the time they have available, three months, but they typically act much more quickly). The TTIP and TiSA schedules are harder to predict because they are earlier in the negotiating process and are a year to several years away from completion.

Action plan

A critical element of the proposal is for several days of mass action to shutdown key areas in Washington, DC with solidarity actions in other locations around the time that the TPP is introduced in Congress. This is expected to be November at the earliest.

Leading up to the mass action will be coordinated days of global solidarity actions:

Here are opportunities for days of global solidarity actions throughout the fall targeting either members of Congress who support the TPP or corporations that support the TPP:

  1. October 10 to 16 is an international week of action against corporate “trade” and investment agreements like TPP, TTIP, and TiSA. Members of Congress will be in-district that following week from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19, 2015. Local actions could be organized during that period.
  2. November 18 and 19 are days when APEC will be meeting in Manila, Philippines and protests are planned around that. President Aquino is trying to change the constitution so that land and businesses can be owned by foreign investors so that the Philippines can join the TPP. Congress will be in-district Nov. 20 to 29, 2015, so this is another opportunity for local actions.
  3. November 30 is the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Seattle and the first day of the COP 21 as well as the beginning of the Global Climate Strike. Congress will be in session Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2015.

TPP-Free Zones: The goal is for one hundred resolutions opposed to the TPP by towns, cities, counties and states by the end of 2015.

Organization: Leading up to these days of action and the mass mobilization, work will be done to broaden awareness, educate the public, grow the movement and build skills to support TPP resistance and a mass mobilization. Neo-liberal international treaties codify into law a global system of capitalism, colonialism, imperialism and white supremacy; the struggles of communities fighting for indigenous sovereignty, migrant rights, economic justice, and an end to criminalization of and  violence against LGBTQ people and people of color must be emphasized.

To accomplish that, there will be working groups for media and social media, education and visibility, outreach, TPP free zones, direct action. A network of local and regional coordinators will be created. And there will be affinity groups that choose to operate independently but also to be associated with this proposal. The various working groups, coordinators and affinity groups will meet independently and will also meet together on the biweekly TPP Resistance  conference call hosted by Popular Resistance on InterOccupy. The website FlushtheTPP.org will serve as a tool to post actions and provide informational resources for the movement.

  • Media and social media – members of this working group will create messaging and will provide tools and training to both increase awareness of the TPP through traditional (LTE’s, articles, radio, etc) and social (Facebook, twitter, etc) media and to write press releases, cover and promote days of action in order to amplify them as much as possible. It will be important for this campaign to develop its own media and reach out to the independent media. And it will be important to have consistent imagery and messaging during days of action.
  • Education and visibility – members of this group will create materials that can be used for individuals to self-educate, for outreach to people and organizations and for educational activities such as teach-ins. This group will also provide ideas for increasing the visibility of the TPP. Some suggestions are sign-holding and leafleting in highly trafficked areas such as transit hubs, highway banners, light projection and tabling at events such as fairs and farmer’s markets.
  • Outreach – members of this group will contact movements and organizations at the state, local, national and international level to build solidarity. A call to action will be drafted.
  • TPP Free Zones – members of this group will work to pass resolutions in their communities and will assist others in doing the same.
  • Direct action – members of this group will coordinate nonviolent direct action training opportunities and collaborate on the creation of direct actions during the mass mobilization.
  • Local coordinators – are activists who are able to recruit people, organize local actions and coordinate bringing people to Washington, DC for the mass mobilization.
  • Regional coordinators – will work with local coordinators in their area to keep them connected and support their work.
  • Affinity groups – are groups that self-identify and choose to take on activities in tandem with the work that is being done by the groups and individuals above.

Conclusion: To stop the triad of treaties will require an organized mass movement that uses multiple tactics to achieve the goal. The Action Escalation Proposal is one aspect of the necessary work. Participants in this plan will also collaborate with those who focus on other aspects such as electoral and ‘inside’ work.

Written July, 2015.

Shut down DC