Benji Bao Vương and imagery mobilized by Overpass Light Brigade PDX
and Oregon Fair Trade
For Immediate Release: Day before Wikileak of TPP Document – 13
Cities Mobilized to Shine a Light on Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership
"Trade" Deal Telling Congress "Don’t Fast Track a Train Wreck – FLUSH
CONTACT: Bill Moyer 206-356-9980 | email@example.com
| or Eric Ross 805-776-3882 | firstname.lastname@example.org
| 805-776-3882 | VoteNoFastTrack.org
SEATTLE – On Tuesday evening citizens in Seattle and 12
other cities appeared on overpasses and roadsides to pull the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, aka TPP, out of the shadows and into the
light of public scrutiny. From Dallas to DC, San Diego to Seattle,
Tucson to Detroit, Baltimore to Bellingham, Spokane to Chicago
people took their messages to interstate overpasses, prominent
monuments, and busy city streets using coordinated daytime and
nighttime, high visibility tactics.
They deployed giant banners saying No New NAFTA, mobilized LED light
panels saying "(thumbs up) Democracy, STOP The TPP," and projected with
spotlights messages like "Don’t Fast Track A Train Wreck." These
coordinated citizen’s actions coincided with ongoing TPP negotiations
taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah from November 12-24
and today’s anticipated release by Congressperson Rosa DeLauro and
George Miller detailing the growing opposition to "Fast Track" among
Congress, and preceded today’s surprise release by Wikileaks of a leaked
chapter of the secretive "TPP" agreement. [Here
is Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch initial interpretations of the
chapter on intellectual property.]
The TPP has been called NAFTA on steroids, a "Corporate Coup," and
concerned citizens from across the nation are calling on Congress to
"Flush It!" and to oppose President Obama’s request to renew "Fast
Track" authority to commit our country to this secretive agreement that
has less to do with trade, than it does with dismantling any domestic
policies that undermine future profits for transnational capital and
Bill Moyer, Executive Director of the Backbone Campaign stated "Only a
bought a sold government would sign a treaty that sacrifices our
capacity as communities and country to pass laws for workers benefit,
and the protection of our communities and our natural resources."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been negotiated under secrecy for 3
years. Obama is now pushing to have it swiftly approved to much to the
dismay of members of Congress, most of whom haven’t even been allowed to
see the text. While Congress is constitutionally required to negotiate
any international treaties, Fast Track or granting Obama Trade Promotion
Authority would forfeit the Congress’ responsibility and the public’s
right to weigh in on the TPP negotiations.
Perhaps in response to growing citizen outrage letters were release
today from both Democrats and Republicans challenging President Obama’s
request for renewal of Fast Track authority. [From Today’s Public
Citizen announcement: The
151-signature DeLauro-Miller letter, additional
letter from Democratic Ways & Means members, One
of two letters, this led by Representative Walter Jones (R-NC)]
One of the illuminated messages on Tuesday read "Corporate Tribunals
WTF?" This referred to how the TPP would give more power to corporate
interests including the ability for foreign companies to sue for
taxpayer compensation if any domestic law diminished the company’s expected future profits.
Masked as a trade deal, the agreement has been negotiated under
supervision of 600 unelected corporate "trade advisors" while the text
has been hidden from members of Congress, the press, and the public.
What has been learned about the TPP has come through leaked texts, and
is alarming to members of Congress worried about sovereign powers being
negotiated away, public health officials, labor representatives,
environmental groups, and advocates of consumer issues.
"The TPP, the largest ever of it’s kind, is a race to the bottom
international agreement on domestic and international policies of food
safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation, and the
environment," says Kristen Beifus, executive director of Washington Fair
Trade Justice organizations have declared December 3rd a "Global Day of
Action Against the TPP to resist toxic trade agreements." Citizens are
urged to take action in their own community, contact their
congressperson, and learn more about the TPP’s dismantling of democracy
by visiting VoteNoFastTrack.org.
Citizens can find out where their congressperson stands and tweet them
Tuesday’s coordinated actions were organized by the Backbone Campaign,
which specializes in "amplifying citizen engagement with creative
tactics and artful activism" in collaboration with Public Citizen’s
Global Trade Watch, PopularResistance.org, Fair Trade Coalitions in
Washington and Oregon, the Overpass Light
Brigade network, and more.
The coordinated day of action follows on the heals of an action in
September when to the surprise of secret service, members and allies of
PopularResistance.org and the Backbone Campaign "redecorated"
the United States Trade Representatives office by scaling the building
and unfurling giant banners demanding a release of the TPP text. The
Backbone Campaign is grateful to Wikileaks for beginning that process.
View the growing collection of photos from the 11-12-13 actions HERE.
To speak with organizers of yesterday’s day of action please contact
Bill Moyer at 206-356-9980 or Eric Ross at 805-776-3882.
Info and Collaborator Web Sites:
Thanks to our many awesome collaborators both mentioned and not!
Public Citizen’s Global Trade
Washington Fair Trade
Oregon Fair Trade
Expose The TPP
Overpass Light Brigade PDX
Occupy Rogers Park
Chicago Overpass Light
North Texas Light Brigade
Diego Overpass Light Brigade
Backbone Campaign’s mission is to provide creative strategies, artful
activism trainings, and creative action support to progressive
activists, organizers and organizations around the US and beyond in
order to invigorate and nurture a people-power, community-based, and
internationally-networked nonviolent social movement for human rights,
thriving communities, and ecological well being. Backbone Campaign’s
vision is a world where human dignity, community resilience, and
ecological well being is built upon a foundation of democratic
economic and political systems and diverse, thriving culture where
human rights, the rights of communities and nature are truly
inalienable and honored.
By Backbone Campaign on 2013-11-14 08:37:31