November 30, 2013

Justice Party protests TPP Deal at home in SLC

November 30, 2013. Salt Lake City. It seems no matter where the global overthrowers hold their conferences these days, the opposition is there to meet them. Such was the case again one week ago when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations met in Salt Lake City, Utah. That’s Justice Party territory and the home of JP Presidential candidate and former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson.

2012 Justice Party Presidential candidate Rocky Anderson addresses the crowd outside the TPP negotiations in Salt Lake City. Image courtesy of PopularResistance.org.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-nation trade agreement between US-allied nations lining the Pacific Rim. The countries include the US, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. So far, the details of the agreement have been kept secret and President Obama has threatened to approve the Treaty without Congress’ approval, or even showing it to them. And that has many Americans outraged.



TPP in Salt Lake City

The multi-day, two-city, twelve-nation TPP negotiations were being held in Washington, DC and Salt Lake City, UT and just concluded this week. But not before labor groups, liberty groups and regular residents of the city came out to protest the secret agreement that would most likely send more American jobs overseas and continue lowering the wages of the ones left behind.

Two weeks ago, WikiLeaks published parts of the TPP agreement that it had obtained. As detailed by Whiteout Press, the group’s opening statement explained, ‘Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.’

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, said of the TPP deal, “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

Festival-like atmosphere

2012 Justice Party Presidential candidate Rocky Anderson was among the demonstrators on hand last week in Salt Lake City to protest the TPP meetings. After all, Anderson was the former Mayor of the city and still enjoys widespread support. Joining him were Backbone Campaign organizers who lead many of the organized protest acts that included helium balloons, overpass signs and light projection.

The Backbone Campaign website explains, ‘Salt Lake City residents are mobilizing high visibility actions to pull the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement out of the shadows and into the light of public scrutiny…Expose the TPP for what it is: Toxic for People & the Planet!’ The highlight of the protest was the organization’s 75-foot banner lifted by helium-filled weather balloons up the side of the luxury hotel where TPP representatives were meeting. The sign read, ‘TPP: What are you hiding?’

As detailed by Occupy Las Vegas, protesters also carried out a mock “funeral for our freedoms” that included an actual hearse, coffin, and tombstones. There was also a giant ‘We the People’ sign next to a ‘We the Corporations’ sign, each written in the style of the Declaration of Independence. It’s there that 2012 Justice Party Presidential candidate Rocky Anderson and his supporters could be found.



Justice Party and Rocky Anderson

“When will enough be enough for those who exploit workers, destroy our environment, and seek to further diminish the foundations of our constitutional republic?” Anderson asked the gathered crowd of protesters and reporters, “We need to call it as it is and recognize that these TPP promoters are traitors to our republic, traitors to the public interest, and traitors to the concept of government of, by and for the people?”

The impressive efforts of grassroots groups like Occupy Salt Lake City, the Backbone Campaign, and the Justice Party appeared to make quite an impression. Over the first day or two of the multi-day conference, the grassroots organizations and their supporters dominated the protests. But over the last half of the trade negotiations, they were joined by a group of unlikely allies in the form of the AFL-CIO and United Steel Workers along with the Sierra Club and Utah Tar Sands Resistance.

While many grassroots groups from all sections of America’s political spectrum united to protest the TPP Treaty, local organizations like Utah Tar Sands Resistance and the Justice Party seemed to revel in the fact that this was their home town. It’s not often that the New World Order meets in any of our small corners of the world. And the protesters in Salt Lake City did a commendable job letting the global empire builders know the American people are going to fight them on TPP, and any other secret trade deals that hurt the US in favor of foreign countries and multi-national corporations.

 

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