Originally posted at PopularResistance.org
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Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org
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. The Obama administration is going to great lengths to make sure that people do not know what is in the TPP before it gets signed into law, and have made “fast tracking” the TPP bill a top priority.
January 22nd marks the beginning of a ten-day push by groups who work on a wide variety of issues to stop Congress from granting the President Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The push culminates in an Intercontinental Day of Action against the TPP onJan 31- with events and actions being planned all around the world.
The TPP has been called NAFTA on Steroids, and if you hate the concept of corporate personhood, consider that from leaked chapters of the TPP text we know that if the TPP passes, we will all be getting used to the phrase corporate nationhood.
Signatories to the TPP, which now include the US, most of the Pacific rim countries, in addition to Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, and Canada will agree that trade a binding tribunal made up of 3 corporate judges will settle dispute and supersede, for example, the US Constitution.
The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret pact between the EU and the US known as Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment. However, BBC is reporting that the European commission is slamming on the brakes and has “launched a three-month public consultation on the proposed investment rules for firms, responding to fears that they could give big firms too much power to block unfavorable government policies.”
Joining me to discuss the growing movement to halt fast track and topple the TPP is Stuart Sidle.
Stuart is a senior at Reed College in Portland Oregon where he is engaged with environmental justice activities and serves on the national steering committee for the United Students for Fair Trade, a grassroots network of students and youth working in solidarity with cooperative communities and workers to promote fair trade principles and models.
Here is what you can do:
Originally posted at AcronymTV
The TPP is a Trojan horse that seeks to usher in a backroom secret sweetheart deal for the global elite, and President Barack Obama wants the deal fast-tracked through Congress. That effort was dealt a serious blow on Wednesday, when WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property rights chapter. According to the WikiLeaks press release:
“The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.”
Remember the concept of Corporate Personhood from the Citizens United case?
The TPP combines all of the worst elements of NAFTA and Citizens United, shoots them up with steroids, sprinkles in a speedball and codifies these principles into a trade agreement that is in fact much more than a trade agreement.
cross posted form Acronym TV | Stories covered in this Resistance Report:
Segment 1: Rejecting American Exceptionalism
In invoking American Exceptionalism as a reason we should intervene in Syria. President Obama is invoking the same principle that self empowers us remain “the greatest purveyors of violence on Earth today.”
Segment 2: Occupy Turns 2 (08:17)
An Occupy activist reflects on lessons learned from two years of Occupying.
Segment 3: TPP Protests Escalate (Margaret Flowers Interview) (16:13)
As the Obama administration seeks to Fast Track the TPP, activists and organizers are gearing up for a major battle to stop this “NAFTA on steroids.”
Segment 4: Code Pink’s Peace Insurrection (Medea Benjamin Interview) (23:17)This week, Code Pink Staged a round the clock Peace Insurrection in Washington DC.
“Things are boiling, we know the system doesn’t work, we know that it is unfair, and eventually, something tips it off,” says Dr. Margaret Flowers in this interview with Acronym TV host Dennis Trainor, Jr.. Kevin Zeese, also interviewed here, added, “This is a global, connected, challenge to trans-national neo-liberalism. TPP will unify us and it will be people versus transnationals, and the people will win.”
The Obama administration has been working hard at crafting the Trans Pacific partnership – the TPP- for several years and President Obama has said he wants to fast track the agreement through congress this fall. There has been no public debate on the trade agreement that has been called by many NAFTA on steroids- and only recently has a member of congress had the opportunity to read a version of the agreement. After months of pressure, the U.S trade representative allowed Congressman Alan Grayson a peek at the TPP text. He was to read the text, without the aid of a note-taking device, and none of his staff were allowed to enter. He was told the information was top secret.
cross posted from Acronym TV
When the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections commission that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government, many of us who care about the principles of Democracy (first and foremost among them that the people rule) felt as if we had been punched in the gut by Andre the Giant, kicked in the privates by the steel toe of a Gene Simmons boot, and Mike Tyson was making a meal out of our ear.
It is hard to imagine feeling worse than that, but President Obama is working to see that you do.
The Obama administration is brokering a secret global deal that combines all of the worst elements of NAFTA and Citizens United, shoots them up with steroids, sprinkles in a speedball and codifies these principles into a trade agreement that is in fact much more than a trade agreement. The trade agreement is the Trojan horse to bore you and put you to sleep so that when you wake up a global corporate coup will be in place creating a parallel system of justice where three private attorneys would oversee a kangaroo court set up to defend corporate interests that the laws all countries signing on to what is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be subservient to.
The TPP is a lot of things- it emboldens the farming practices of Monsanto, it empowers big banks and Wall street interests, it threatens the rights of working people, it will increase the costs of medicine- and it will end the free and open internet as we know it, among other things.
For now, let us focus on three things about the TPP:
1. It’s a secret. While parts of the TPP draft texts have been leaked, the Obama administration is brokering this deal behind closed doors & aggressively pursuing an agreement that, if the text were in fact shared publicly, the deal would be impossible to sign because that opposition to it would be so great. But who has time to sit down and parse through 24 chapters of legal babble, bicker and balderdash- that is what we have our elected officials in Congress for right? Yes, well, about that- as Lori Wallach and Ben Beachey wrote in a New York Timed op ed on June 2nd: “While Congress has constitutional authority to set the terms of trade, so far the executive branch has managed to resist repeated requests by members of Congress to see the text of the draft agreement and has denied requests from members to attend negotiations as observers — reversing past practice.”
This is congress we are talking about- these gals and guys are by and large total yes men for corporate interests. If you can’t find allies in that group of swine, than what exactly are you selling here? A few days ago, after navigating a labyrinth of red tape- Congressman Alan Grayson was allowed to read the text of the agreement.
With no aides present and under the conditions that no notes could be taken or copies made and that the contents are classified top secret.
2. The TPP makes corporations more powerful than governments. Say that out loud to yourself and let it sink in: The TPP makes corporations more powerful than governments. As Kevin Zeese points out, that even though the public and the media can not see the texts, and select members of congress only get very limited access 600 corporations have been advising the president and suggesting amendments as they have full access to the documents. This includes some of America’s worst corporate citizens: Monsanto, WalMart, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Pfizer and big Pharma, Cargill, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron among them. In other words, a corporate advisors to what Matt Taibbi famously called a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money gets to read and craft the text and you me and just about everyone we know, including our so called representative officials, are locked out.
3. The third thing you need to know about the TPP is the most important: we can stop it. Obama wants to fast track it through Congress this October. If you want to help stop the TPP, visit PopularResistance.org and sign up.
cross posted from AcronymTV