Stop the Secrecy!! Sign the Petition!


OCV joined other Coachella Valley activists to protest Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (or any so-called trade agreements) on Friday, January 31, 2014, the Intercontinental Day of Action.

Recently Senators Harry Reid and Ron Wyden came out in opposition to Fast Track, but we are not out of the woods yet because the real fight is in the House of Representatives and we need to keep pressuring members of Congress until we have a solid 240 representatives in the House committed to opposing Fast Track.

So keep calling as many members of Congress as you can!  See for the organizations working to defeat Fast Track, for more information, and for which representatives are on the “thank” vs. “spank” list.

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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 and also and  for more information on actions worldwide.  The Light Brigade will be out in San Diego–see and 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:

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.

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This morning Wikileaks leaked the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership today, which revealed that the secretive  agreement will negatively affect Internet freedom, copyright law, biological patents, access to medicine, and civil liberties.

Please view the documents here: Wikileaks-secret-TPP-treaty-IP-chapter              and spread the word!

Analysis of the TPP intellectual property chapter on access to medicines:
MSF/Doctors Without Borders’ Release and Memo on How the Trans-Pacific FTA Undermines Access to Medicines

Public Citizen’s Memo on Obama Administration Backtracking from Bush Era Access to Medicine Commitments

MSF/Doctors Without Borders’ White Paper “Trading Away Health”

Public Citizen’s Access to Medicine Analyses Comparing TPP Proposals with Existing Laws and Trade Pacts

The Global Treatment Access Group Paper on the TPP and Access to Medicines

For analysis of the updated TPP intellectual property chapter see:
Public Citizen Memo “What’s New in the Wikileaks TPP Text?”

End Corporate Rule & Legalize Democracy!!

Townhall with Congressman Raul Ruiz: One Occupier’s Impressions

I recently went to a town hall meeting in Banning that Ruiz was scheduled to attend.  I had been alerted to it by an email from the progressive caucus in Congress who were wanting people to go and ask representatives to sign on to the pledge to vote against any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  So I went in order to do that and to bring up two other pressing issues, even though it was raining cats and dogs and I still had to get my trash out.

Ruiz began the meeting by telling a little “story” about his “humble beginnings,” then opened up the discussion for the city councilmembers, then to the audience.  Several people spoke up about the social safety net, jobs, VAWA, etc. (and one crazy individual who urged him to vote for the Keystone Pipeline of all things (!) at which I groaned audibly). I had my hand up for a long time but he ended the discussion with only two of us waiting to be called upon.

I had chimed in earlier with regard to the social safety net letting him know I had a letter for him to sign pledging that he would vote against any cuts to SS, Medicare, or Medicaid, to which he was dismissive, offering to “shake our hands” and “look us in the eye” instead of signing a pledge, so I think he was trying to avoid being pressed on it or any issue because he rather pointedly skipped over me, choosing instead to spend the remaining time telling another anecdote from his childhood about a mango and how it “taught (him) an important lesson.” I was a little too annoyed to pay much attention, so the lesson was lost on me–something self-congratulatory about how unselfish he is. . . (though obviously not when it comes to self-promotion over hearing from his constituents).

At the end of the meeting, I walked up and said, “Since you didn’t let me speak I am leaving you these documents” and he made excuses about time constraints, asking me what organizations I was with.  I answered “several” mentioning the email alert as well as Occupy, at which he took almost a visible step backward and directed me to leave my papers with his Head of Staff, Greg Rodriguez, who took down my name and email address.  The documents consisted of that pledge letter, along with the question I was going to ask regarding the TPP letting him know I am outraged at the way our government and  the corporations have been conducting negotiations in secret, urging him to get the TPP documents and look at them, along with a copy of the “We the People Amendment” which has just been introduced into congress—the one we need to get behind because it is the one that MTA has sponsored which addresses both corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.”

I don’t have much confidence in Ruiz—I first met him at a fundraiser when he was running for office and I find him self-aggrandizing and evasive and my experience at this townhall meeting confirmed this impression.  Hopefully he will come through on issues like Social Security, corporate “personhood,” and the TPP, but personally I don’t think he is much of a leader–I think he will roll over to whatever the White House wants in the end.  I get the strong vibe that he doesn’t want to be associated with anything too “controversial;” if he was that slippery with regard to making a firm commitment about Social Security to a room full of older adults, I think he would have been speechless regarding the TPP.

We will have to make sure he really feels the pressure and see how he votes—hopefully he won’t turn into another Joe Baca/Barack Obama who says one thing and does another.  I’m glad at least he voted for VAWA, but WE NEED TO LET HIM KNOW HE NEEDS TO JOIN THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS along with Grayson, Mark Takano, Raul Grijalva, and the few others who have spine enough to take on not only the Republicans but the White House over issues that count.