As the US Trade Representative signs the TransPacific Partnership on behalf of President Obama at the Skyland Casino in New Zealand on the evening of February 3rd (Eastern US time), protests are happening across the United States and around the world. See map of protests.
Several hours before the signing TPP opponents in Washington DC protested at the White House with a 24 foot “TPP is Betrayal” banner and other signs that visually highlighted the negative impacts of the TPP on the economy, environment and workers.
“There is widespread opposition to the TPP by groups that advocate for a variety of issues. Relationships are strengthening across borders to oppose the TPP because of the negative impacts it will have on people in the United States as well as in other countries,” said Margaret Flowers of Popular Resistance whose campaign, Flush The TPP, has organized the nationwide protests. “The TPP is opposed by a broad movement of movements because it has an adverse impact on so many parts of our lives including safe foods, access to healthcare, income inequality, worker’s rights and jobs, the future of the Internet, banking regulation as well as the environment and climate change.”
In front of the White House today, people representing the Alliance for Democracy, the American Medical Students Association, Beyond Extreme Energy, Friends of the Earth, Popular Resistance, Veterans for Peace and more spoke out against the TPP.
“Today in New Zealand, activists plan to peacefully blockade access to the casino where the TPP signing ceremony is scheduled to be held,” said Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance. “It is persistent opposition across borders that will make it impossible for the TPP to be ratified. We are confident that like the Free Trade Area of the Americas was stopped and the World Trade Organization advances have been stalled, the TPP will also be blocked. The elites must understand that the people will not tolerate this failed model of trade that drives a race to the bottom in worker rights and protection of the planet. The people will prevail and the only acceptable alternative will be rooted in trade justice and respect for human rights.”
The DC protest kicked off two days of protests in 38 US cities as well as in seven other countries demonstrating that the TPP is politically toxic and no politician should touch it in the 2016 election year. In recent weeks, protests have been escalating around the world as the signing of the TPP approaches. After the signing, countries will have two years to ratify the agreement.