Chapter activist Bev Burke and Rick Arnold.
The Council of Canadians Northumberland chapter was at the May 26-27 gathering in Mexico City of civil society and labour activists to strategize about the imminent renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Chapter activists Rick Arnold and Bev Burke were at the encuentro along with Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey and numerous allies.
Arnold says, “There is a growing alliance of organizations calling on Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to stop signing on to backroom deals that sell out our jobs and the planet."
The promotion for the gathering highlighted, "We call on social movements, trade unions, farmers, indigenous nations, migrants, environmentalists, human rights groups and all other interested sectors/organizations from Mexico, United States and Canada to come together to strengthen trinational work in the face of the ‘re-negotiation’ of NAFTA, an agreement that has been negative for the peoples of the three countries. ...This gathering gives us all an opportunity to strategize around actions needed to build collective power based on the principles of solidarity and internationalism while sharing alternatives to the dominant neo-liberal agenda."
Mexican organizations, working together under the umbrella of ‘Mexico Better Off Without FTAs’, are convening this gathering. Organizations in Canada and Quebec involved in this include Common Frontiers, the Trade Justice Network, RQIC, ATTAC-Québec, along with the Quebec-based unions CSD, CSN, FTQ and SPGQ.
The Council of Canadians made a modest financial contribution to assist Mexican organizations hold this trinational meeting.
Arnold will be interviewed about the outcomes of this gathering on 89.7 FM on June 2 following his return from Mexico City.