Protestors Give USTR 'Corporate Power Tool Award'; Replace Toilet Paper In Hotel With TPP-TP

from the wow dept

Ron Kirk may believe that he’s getting away with something in negotiating the TPP agreement without the public knowing what he’s doing, but sooner or later he has to realize that the public isn’t going to take it. With the recent TPP negotiations in Dallas, there was (of course) a corporate-sponsored “welcome gala.” However, it appears that some protestors infiltrated the event and were able to announce that the USTR Ron Kirk and the other US negotiators had won the 2012 Corporate Power Tool Award. A protestor by the name of David Goodwin commandeered the microphone at the event and announced that he was Git Haversall, of the “Texas Corporate Power Partnership”, and was giving the award to Ron Kirk because “The TPP agreement is shaping up to be a fantastic way for us to maximize profits, regardless of what the public of this nation—or any other nation—thinks is right.”


The protestors actually came very close to giving the plaque to Kirk himself, but security got in the way at the last second. Somewhere around that point, a bunch of protestors apparently started dancing around and chanting “TPP! TPP! TPP!” You can see much of this in the video below:

Apparently the protestors also successfully replaced much of the toilet paper in the public bathrooms in the hotel with special TP-TPP:


I’m generally of mixed opinions on these kinds of protests. However, seeing as we’re dealing with Ron Kirk, who seems to go out of his way to avoid the public concerning TPP and only listen to corporate interests, any method of making it clear to him that the public is unhappy seems worthwhile.

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Comments on “Protestors Give USTR 'Corporate Power Tool Award'; Replace Toilet Paper In Hotel With TPP-TP”

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Machin Shin (profile) says:


I’m also all in favor of these protests for this kind of thing. The supporters of these bills are using dirty tactics to try and hide what they are doing. As a result I am all in favor of any method used to bring attention to them.

It also goes a long ways to send a message to those working on these bills that the general population will not be silenced. If we can make a mockery of them in their own conferences then do they really think they can control people in the real world?

Anonymous Coward says:


“Also, what’s the alternative…whining? assassination? Count me out of that jazz.”

I wouldn’t call those alternatives, I’d call those other steps:

Step 1: Whining
Step 2: Peaceful Protesting
Step 3: Non-peaceful protesting
Step 4: Revolution

Most times, things stop at step 2-3…..but when the ruling class of any group ignores the desires of the peons for too long…..the peons start to push back, and hard.

Anonymous Coward says:

Exactly, more power to em

Rather have these peacefull protests, then the lenghts they’re pushing us to, if they choose to go on business as usuall, if they choose to ignore our more “civilised” methods to let them know our stance and continue to brush us aside, then is their OWN DAMN FAULT, when someone’s finally been pushed to far by their fcking greed

All in all, i salute these guys, for taking an active aproach, well done for making it just that lil bit harder for them to brush aside and ignore a difference of an opinion to their own

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

What I love about this protest is the humour behind it, the discipline and the good nature of the protesters all while getting their very important point across.

It was fun watching the guy who wanted to make the “please stay and mingle” announcement as the award was being announced and presented because there really wasn’t an excuse for him to shove David Goodwin away without looking like a complete jackass. THAT would have made the evening news.

I love the toilet paper, it’s a lovely touch and I want to know where to get some!

At least Ron Kirk and his cronies now know that people are watching them in case they were labouring under the illusion that the citizenry of the United States and other countries aren’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

good on those that managed to pull this off. the problem is though, just like other protests, the lack of transparency doesn’t change and the bills that are halted simply go into temporary sleep mode. people keep on trying to insist the bills are still needed, that they can be changed effectively to con us, can be re-written or ‘have the name changed to protect the guilty’. they still come back because there is so much corruption in government, such a lack of concern for the people and so much concern for corporations, that eventually, the bills get slipped in anyway, giving those that want something that suits only them exactly that at everyone else’s expense.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

On my trip to DC

While I was on my trip to DC recently, I kept an eye out for the restrooms that had toilet paper with the Constitution printed on it. Unfortunately, none of the restrooms I visited had any such toilet paper. I guess that toilet paper is not available for the peasants’ restrooms and is reserved for the private Congressional restrooms.

I like this toilet paper and would love to be able to use it in much the same way Congress and the White House uses the Constitution.

Anonymous Coward says:


What should happen is there should have been tends of thousands, if not millions, of people outside the hotel protesting Ron Kirk at the hotel. Lets see hotel authorities get rid of everyone. Yes, the police will probably come, like with the occupy protests, but at least this may have a chance of making it on the news and getting covered. and, unlike the occupy movement, this has a specific purpose, the media will be very hard pressed to spin it otherwise.

Robert (profile) says:


I agree that there is a possibility that the majority don’t care. They could be asleep, but the could also simply not care. It’s akin to farm animals knowing they are going to die and not trying to make a run for it.

Perhaps there’s just too much FUD going on that people are no longer affected when a real message of alarm comes along?

Take a look at airline safety procedures, people complain and then they get used to it and stop trying to fight.

At some point though, something has to strike a nerve with the masses and what might help is more creative stunts by people who appear to be “normal.” Occupy movements could have done better if the stereotypical protesters were not the only ones interviewed in the lamescream media. And the masses do not look for information with less bias, they just hear what comes through CNN or whatever they have turned on while preparing dinner.

Some say it is the CIA who is responsible for infecting the mass populous with apathy for just about anything. Maybe there is truth to that.

Or worse, as you suggested, maybe people really just don’t care.

The question is why?

Robert (profile) says:


That’s a rather old and trite attack on someone.

Caring is better than nothing. Informing people is better than just caring and that’s what AC is likely doing, but you’re not in their circle so you don’t know what they are doing.

I don’t join protests, instead I try to inform people in a non-confrontational way. Those I try to inform I try to understand their views first and get them to question things for themselves.

I don’t join protests because to me, it’s an easy way to be misrepresented and have my efforts turned against me. So instead I hope by getting people to think and question and talk, it will improve their decisions in voting. It’s small scale but I my hope is it spreads.

When you try large scale quick changes, they are often easily ignored or reversed. However, slow gradual changes become entrenched and are far more difficult to reverse (such as erosion of civil liberties).

Anonymous Coward says:


Pardon me for liking my life with my liberty, but I saw what happened in the Middle East last year through now, and I would far rather have a witty step 2 that catches the media’s attention and gets public sympathy such that the government can’t step in with force and push for us to step 3. It may just be me, though.

Whining isn’t a step; it’s the Great American Pastime.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


Most of us don’t care until something bites us in our pocketbooks or affects us personally. It’s not a criticism of anyone personally or a nationality it’s simply the way humans are hard wired.

The SOPA message got through because people could see how it would affect everyday life on the Web even if they didn’t know a DNS server from a TCP/IP.

TPP and ACTA deal with what seems like legal esoterica. Worse, by how it’s reported it seems to affect everyone else on the planet except Americans because the US Government is trying to export it’s goofy IP regime on the rest of the world so it isn’t changing anything at home. At least that’s likely the take away from it.

Never mind that it entrenches the entertainment and publishing industries as the definers of what IP is and ought to be instead of the public good. Permanently.

Never mind that TPP makes acts of censorship easier because of who has permanent control over so called “Intellectual Property”

Never mind that the secrecy in the negotiations for both renders the legislative arm of government impotent and grants the executive all the power. Whether the system in the US Congressional one or based on that or the English Parliamentary System. As one of the affects of both is the removal of budgetary control from the legislature and leaves it to the executive in the trade area. That removes the one area of greatest control of the executive which is that it’s the legislature not the executive that controls the purse strings.

People don’t care because they’re already alienated from the political system in most western countries. The citizenry is convinced that governments and legislatures act on behalf of the rich and powerful, the corporate good over the public good, the 1% over the 99%. The CIA isn’t needed for that nor do they have the skill to pull that off.

That kind of “conspiracy” isn’t required simply because it’s true. The CIA is as powerless as the rest of us.

We need to get by the legal esoterica and explain what is so bad about TPP (and ACTA) in terms people can relate to as happened with SOPA.

That’s one thing this protest did so well. It brought the discussion “down to earth” while ridiculing those in the bureaucracy who are bringing it about with a wonderful award.

Which means, sadly, that mainstream media won’t and hasn’t picked the story up.

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