Do you know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Most people don’t. But the huge 12-country corporate rights deal is a cornerstone of the Harper government’s neoliberal economic agenda for Canada, and it is being negotiated in secret, as quickly as possible, so that we, the people, cannot affect the outcome in any way.
Last week, the Council of Canadians, Common Frontiers, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and OpenMedia issued a call to action to Expose the TPP this week, as country representatives meet in Brunei for a 19th round of closed-door corporate rights negotiations. The call to action includes simple things you can do in your community to draw attention to the closed-door negotiations and to demand that the full text of the agreement be made public.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR AND MPS
One of those actions is to send letters to the editor of your local or national newspaper, and thanks to Karen Abramsen of the Kelowna chapter of the Council of Canadians, we have an excellent template you can work from. Karen wrote an open letter to her Conservative MP Ron Cannan, in which she says, “I urge you to release information about this proposed agreement and facilitate a process whereby your constituents may have a chance to comment on it before it is too late.” Grab all or parts of the letter (use hyperlink above) to write your own version to newspapers and to your MP.
A second, simple action involves getting the word out on Twitter. In fact, today (and every Tuesday from now on) is #TPPTuesday – a fun Twitter hashtag that our U.S. allies in the trade justice movement created to galvanize public interest in the secretive trade and investment negotiations. I’ve prepared a few sample tweets you can use to help drive traffic to our call to action, and to rallies this week in Toronto and Montreal.
Join the @councilofcdns in Toronto this Thursday outside US consulate at noon to Expose the TPP! https://www.facebook.com/events/523608867714286/ #TPPTuesday
Join @uaem, @councilofcdns + others in MTL Thursday for rally against Trans-Pacific Partnership secrecy https://www.facebook.com/events/157138811147998/ #TPPTuesday
A new Facebook community exists to Expose the Trans-Pacific Partnership #TPP – Join here https://www.facebook.com/ExposeTPPCanada #TPPTuesday
Canada is negotiating yet another secret trade deal behind our backs. Find out about the #TPP here http://canadians.org/action-tppC #TPPTuesday
Canadian groups launch call to action to expose the secretive #TPP negotiations http://canadians.org/action-tpp #TPPTuesday
If you live in Toronto or Montreal and have some spare time during lunch on Thursday, August 29, please consider joining us outside the U.S. consulates in both cities (see links to Facebook pages in sample tweets above). Since the TPP is a U.S.-driven corporate rights deal, we’re targeting the consulates to demand they make the full text of the TPP public.
Finally on the Twitter front, the Flush the TPP Campaign to which the Council of Canadians is a member is asking people to join the #TPPTuesday twitter party tonight, August 27, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. to learn more about the TPP’s effects on health and to increase awareness of the TPP. Log in to tweet chat and use the hashtag #TPPMediaMarch to join the twitter party.
RALLY OUTSIDE YOUR MP’S OFFICE
For those who want to get more active, it’s never a bad idea to rally outside your MP’s offices (especially if they are Conservative) to demand to see the Trans-Pacific Partnership text, and to oppose the corporate rights agenda behind the deal. If you would like help planning a rally, or want to let us know about one in your community, contact a Council of Canadians regional organizer or your local chapter representative.
For more information on the TPP and calls to end the secrecy, see the Council of Canadians press release on the need to publish the TPP. And please write us with any questions or successful actions you take this week, from letters to tweets to rallies in the coming weeks.