Monday, January 26, 2015

Hundreds of protesters in NYC tell TPP negotiators to 'Go home!'

Happening now in Times Square

Hundreds of citizens braved an epic blizzard in New York City today to protest the TPP. They rallied outside of the Times Square hotel where negotiators are holding secret talks and demanded 'No Fast Track.' 

The cold, wet crowd grew so large that New York City police officers moved it across the street as they chanted, whistled, beat drums and waved signs. KrisfromflGeez tweeted, "it's freezing there, brave soldiers."

Toward the end of the spirited rally, demonstrators called U.S. Sen Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to tell him to stop fast track. Schumer sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which will hold a hearing on the TPP tomorrow. Then they marched through the snow to Schumer's district office. 

The protest was livestreamed by StopMotionSolo as the mainstream media will probably ignore it. 

Speakers recited the arguments against TPP: It will empower large corporations, undermine food safety, make medicine more expensive and destroy the environment, cost good U.S. jobs and lower wages.

The Raging Grannies led the crowd in song, adapting the lyrics of 'We Shall Not Be Moved.' @PopResistance tweeted: 
"We're fighting for worker justice, we shall not be moved!" #TPP protest to #StopFastTrack in NY. 
Here's the photo: 
"We shall not be moved"
The demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance to underscore another criticism of the TPP: It undermines U.S. sovereignty. Like other so-called 'trade' deals, the TPP gives multinational corporations the right to sue governments if regulations interfere with their profit. 

A Mexican woman who fought against NAFTA 25 years ago reminded the crowd that promises made about such deals don't materialize -- for workers. Before 1994, when NAFTA took effect, Mexico produced and exported corn. Now the Mexican people depend on foreign corn. Family farmers have left the land because it's too expensive to compete against multinational agribusinesses. 

"We fought for five years and we lost," she said. "We were right."  

One speaker, wearing a hardhat and using vivid language, questioned why the TPP is being negotiated in secret. "If the %#$@ TPP is so great, let me see the #$*&^ text," he shouted through a bullhorn. "Let me see the text," chanted the crowd. 

Another chant was aimed right at the negotiators staying in the Sheraton New York Times Square: 
Go home!
Marching to Sen. Schumer's office.