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Occupy Coachella Valley to Protest Fast Track of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Intercontinental Day of Action

OCV will join other Coachella Valley activists Friday in an Intercontinental Day of Action in solidarity with protesters around the world who are determined to stop the TPP.  The action coincides with the 20-year anniversary of NAFTA and an important conference in Mexico City on NAFTA’s catastrophic impact and tragic economic and social consequences in Mexico, Canada, and the US.

This is an urgent action because the US Congress will vote any moment on Fast-Track legislation that would rush the 12-country (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam) Trans-Pacific Partnership deal through without any debate or Congress even knowing what is in it!  We are urging every representative in Congress to VOTE NO ON FAST TRACK!

WHEN: Friday, 31 January 2014, 11:00am

WHERE: Intersection of Hwy 111 and Washington, La Quinta 92253

WHAT: Participants will parade over-sized banners around the busiest intersection in the Coachella Valley to make drivers-/passers-by aware of the imminent dangers to all aspects of our lives should the Fast-Track pass and the TPP go through.

WHY:  The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) expands our currently pro-corporate regime across this hemisphere and the Pacific Ocean.  Leaked texts prove the TPP is a corporate bill of rights of, for, and by corporations and their allies on the US Trade Commission, exclusively, that threatens to:

  • Offshore good-paying jobs to low-wage nations and under-cut working conditions globally
  • Create new tools for attacking environmental and consumer safety policies
  • Undermine global economic stability by deregulating banks, financial markets on Wall Street
  • Grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries’ laws, regulations,and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems
  • Institute longer patents that restrict access to affordable, generic medications, thereby driving up the costs of medicine
  • Enact copyright policies that restrict freedom on the Internet
  • Undermine “Buy American” and “Buy Local” government purchasing programs

Similar corporate power grabs have been defeated: The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), the Millennial Round of the World Trade Organization, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) all died when people stood up and said NO!  There’s no reason we can’t do it again with the TPP.

Please bring (home-made) signs: “NO FAST TRACK!” “STOP the TPP!”  “TPP = GLOBAL CORPORATE RULE!” “NO MORE NAFTAS!”  Bring water, hat, and shades, in case it gets warm.

For information on Fast Track and the TPP, please go to: www.flushthetpp.org , www.stopfasttrack.org  www.stopthetpp.org

Please RSVP at: http://civic.moveon.org/event/moveonaction/140654

Intercontinental Day of Action

Actions protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Fast Track, and global corporate rule will be taking place this week, culminating in an Intercontinental Day of Action on Friday, January 31.  Visit  http://www.tradejustice.ca/tpp/jan31/ and also http://www.flushthetpp.org/ and http://www.stopfasttrack.com/  for more information on actions worldwide.  The Light Brigade will be out in San Diego–see https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zignUCNQn0qw.k48PQyQtfAm4 and https://www.facebook.com/events/257586751072513/for more information.

Call Congress this week at 202-225-3121 to urge all representatives to vote NO ON FAST TRACK! For a list of who to call go to: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2013/11/22/house-members-speaking-fast-track/

An Open Letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein

I am extremely disappointed by your response to my email urging you to oppose both the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement and Fast Track.

You said that you “…carefully review each free trade agreement that comes before [you] to ensure that the best interests of American workers and businesses are served,” but my understanding is that the TPP has not come before you to review; the only reason either of us knows anything about the contents of the TPP is that five of its 29 chapters were leaked.  Senator Ron Wyden, Chair of the Subcommittee on International Trade, was denied access to any of the drafts of the TPP text.  After introducing legislation to force the issue, he finally got access but his staff experts did not and he was forbidden to reveal what he’d read.  To my knowledge, contrary to the 2002 law requiring the Administration to share trade documents with all members of Congress, only Representative Alan Grayson and a small number of other members of Congress have been allowed access to it and they, too, had to swear to keep its contents secret.

The TPP was written behind tightly-locked doors by corporations for the sole purpose of increasing their profits.   If it were true that you have reviewed the TPP, you, as a representative of the people and defender of the Constitution, would have to oppose it, since clearly it would adversely impact “the U.S. economy, human rights, labor rights, and environmental standards” and much more: it would negatively affect, if not destroy, our legal system, (the remains of) our non-profit penal system, banking regulations, “buy American” practices, the job market, wages, efforts to decrease the income gap,1 public services, our non-privatized social safety net, consumer standards, our should-be-single-payer-healthcare-for-all system, medicine, food safety, intellectual property, our efforts toward peace, equal rights for women2, our quality of life, our very democracy, and the habitability of Mother Earth Herself.  I believe that the only reason you still support the TPP is that you are a staunch corporatist who values profits over people.  [By the way:  1 You are among the wealthiest elected officials in DC, aren’t you?   2 How much longer do women have to be taken for granted as second-class citizens?!  Why aren’t you pushing for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment?]

Multi-national corporations have long sought to successfully sue countries for lost future profits, and this is precisely what they would achieve through provisions in the TPP.  So, when you said that you will “ensure that trade negotiations are conducted in the best interests of the American worker and U.S. industry” (which sounds a lot like your job description), it is not what you actually do.  It’s much closer to the truth, Senator, to admit you will continue to ensure corporate interests, as they are ultimately the same as your own.  If it were true that you have been in on the negotiations, it would not have been as an Executive Branch Trade Representative or a representative of one of the five non-corporate Delegates; it could only have been as a corporate stakeholder on behalf of one of the 600 corporations participating in composing and negotiating the TPP.  That Congress does not consider it a ‘conflict of interest’ to vote on corporate-related legislation while financially benefitting from it personally (essentially, lobbying for them) is an enormous outrage!  It’s only common sense that in such situations, for all three branches of government, recusal should/would be de rigueur.

It has been well over a year since, as an independent stakeholder on behalf of Mother Earth, I went to the round of Negotiations in San Diego.  I had a 10-minute tete-a-tete with Barbara Weisel, US Chief Negotiator, during which she adamantly denied each and every point I made.  For example:  given the unfortunate tradition of previous free trade agreements, I asserted that “jobs would be outsourced.”  “That’s not true,” she contended.   I also informed her that Sen Wyden had just informed the media that he had been denied access to the TPP.  “That’s not true,” she retorted.  “He [had] never asked to see it.  If he had, I would have personally delivered a copy to him.”  Essentially, she had been accusing me repeatedly of lying; but I was more shocked when, in so many words, she called Senator Wyden a liar!

After that very troubling, absurd, and unproductive exchange with the US Chief Negotiator, I sent you and Senator Boxer a request for current drafts of the TPP text.  I knew that neither of you had seen anything as yet, other than what had been leaked; but I wanted you to know that the public was not uniformly ignorant about and/or disinterested in the insidious effort, ongoing, to legitimize a global corporatocracy* by means of yet another, far worse “free” trade agreement.

When you said that you “do not believe that… past trade agreements have resulted in any loss of U.S. political independence or sovereignty,” I wondered why you would believe otherwise, since your job has not been outsourced, your retirement stash has been growing steadily, you have not been foreclosed upon, and you have not suffered from US war-mongering, inter alia.   The public is well aware, even if you are not, of the drastic consequences of NAFTA.  So, please Senator, for the sake of millions of Americans who have suffered enormously from its consequences, please do not repeat that [NAFTA] hasn’t “resulted in any loss of U.S… independence or sovereignty.”

As for the “Fast Track” that expired on 05.01.07: our Constitution specifically empowers Congress with trade authority to regulate commerce and legislate trade agreements.  It is absolutely not the constitutional responsibility of Congress to “[provide] the President with Trade Promotion Authority,” or to cede any other constitutionally-mandated powers and duties that we pay Congress to perform!  Frankly, Senator, I am horrified by your cavalier disrespect and/or blatant disregard for, and/or gross misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Legislative branch provisions therein in particular!

Once again, I urge you to oppose Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement.  And I would appreciate your demanding that the Administration make a copy of or a link to the current draft of the TPP FTA available to you, and that you will, in turn, make it available to me and the general public.  As a politically progressive activist, I will do everything I can to thwart a global fascist corporatocracy* and to protect Mother Earth.  Only through robust oversight and public participation can we forge a new national and global consensus on FAIR trade policy that works for all.

Carolyn E. Krause, Occupier

* an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests that put profit of the corporate elite over the productivity and needs of people or the preservation of the environment and sustainability.  It is in stark contrast to a socialist economic system which is based on cooperative management of the economy and the production of goods and services to directly satisfy economic demand and human needs and where objects are valued based on their utility

“Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini

TPP Shackles We the People & Democracy

TPP Action3 12-3-13In an action depicting corporate global rule symbolized by a corporate “king” twirling the world around on a string with one hand and dragging behind a jailed “We the People” and “democracy,” followed by a funereal procession of mourners dressed in black singing a TPP dirge and holding tombstones decrying the death of democracy, jobs, clean air, clean water, education, Internet freedom, medicine, and free speech.  Participants in the action spoke to passersby and handed out TPP information fliers in order to educate the public about this serious worldwide threat to the 99% and everything we hold dear.

TPP Action5 12-3-13TPP Action 12-3-13

TPP Action6 12-3-13

TPP Action2 12-3-13

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 CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS AND INSIST THAT THEY OPPOSE FAST TRACK OF THE TPP, THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY!!