Street Demonstrations In 21 European Countries Held To Protest Against TAFTA/TTIP; Another ACTA Revolt Brewing?

from the unprecedented-alliance dept

Last month, the European Commission refused to accept a request to allow an official EU-wide petition called a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) to take place. This was a curiously maladroit move by the Commission: it would have been easy to allow the petition against TAFTA/TTIP and CETA to proceed, thank the organizers once it was completed, file it away somewhere and then ignore it. Instead, by refusing to allow it to take place, the European Commission has highlighted in a dramatic manner the deeply undemocratic way in which so-called trade agreements are conducted.

Moreover, those making the request have simply gone ahead anyway, launching what they call the "Self-organised European Citizens' initiative Against TTIP and CETA". Even though this was only launched last week, it has already collected over 600,000 signatures from European citizens at the time of writing, and there is every indication that it will go well past the nominal one million signatures that the ECI would have required. The European Commission's refusal to allow the official petition was doubly stupid, since it came shortly before a Europe-wide day of action against TAFTA/TTIP that took place last Saturday, and doubtless encouraged people to take to the streets in order to make their views felt:

On October 11, 2014, tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations in 21 countries are organising actions to reclaim democracy, and stop the negotiations on three far-reaching trade agreements: the EU-US deal (TTIP), the EU-Canada deal (CETA) and the trade in services deal (TiSA).

This decentralised European Day of Action -- consisting of over 300 actions, marches, meetings and flash mobs -- is being organised by an unprecedented alliance of civil society groups and individuals, social movements, trade unions, rights defenders, farmers and grassroots activist groups.
Reporting on the event, Euractiv.com wrote:
Some 400 activist groups marched all over Europe on Saturday (11 October) in protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as the EU-US trade deal crystallises opposition to a wide variety of issues -- from shale gas to corporate finance.
That last point is important. Euractiv.com goes on to explain:
The opposition to TTIP has many faces however, and seems to embody a wide variety of concerns. In France, many small demonstrations focused on opposition to shale gas, especially in the South of France, while in Berlin protesters were worried that TTIP would weaken the powers of the German regions, or Länders.
Potentially, that could make the European opposition to TAFTA/TTIP even broader-based than it was to ACTA, where people were largely concerned about a single issue -- digital rights. And just as the ACTA demonstrations started off small scale, but grew to hundreds of thousands of people before ACTA was rejected by the European Parliament, so the anti-TTIP movement in Europe could easily swell larger still. Especially if the European Commission continues to conduct the negotiations in secret and without any input from its citizens.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 12:59am

    Escalating the situation

    ...so the anti-TTIP movement in Europe could easily swell larger still. Especially if the European Commission continues to conduct the negotiations in secret and without any input from its citizens.

    Given the massive secrecy, and how what little has slipped out has inevitably just confirmed peoples' fears over just how bad these 'trade' agreements are, I suspect making the negotiations, and in particular the text being negotiated public would likely just make the protests even bigger.

    The ones in the negotiations know damn well that what they are doing is not in the best interests of the public, despite their lies/claims to the contrary, which is why they are so adamant that the public be kept out of the process entirely. Making the texts public would just make this even more clear, and the opposition to the different agreements even stronger.

    As such I wouldn't expect them to make anything public any time soon, no matter how big and widespread the protests get, as they know the alternative, should they open up the negotiations for public scrutiny, would be far, far worse(for them).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Howard (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 6:16am

      Re: Escalating the situation

      no matter how big and widespread the protests get

      In Hungary I _searched_ for TTIP protests in the news, and could only find fringe sites mentioning it, sparsely. No mainstream media, nothing fancy.
      I wouldn't even know about save for techdirt and some other foreign news sites.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Brazenly Anonymous, 17 Oct 2014 @ 1:01pm

      Re: Escalating the situation

      Leakers feel compelled to leak a chapter when they see something that is a clear violation. The leaked chapters will usually contain the worst provisions. By this, it would seem that the negotiators would wish to make the process open. However, opening the process would allow protestors the ability to apply pressure while the negotiation was ongoing.

      If protestors could apply responsive pressure during negotiations, and to specific articles being proposed, it would be possible that any potentially beneficial elements would be passed without also including the protested articles. This would be a disaster for negotiators, who rely on the strength of potentially beneficial elements to garner the support to pass their favored articles.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Squig (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 2:11am

    ACTA Protest were single issue?

    I would disagree with that, there were also concerned about ACTA being bad for trade with knock-of medicine for 3rd World countries and concerns about the patentability of genes and lifeforms expressed during the ACTA protests (even though they did take a back seat to digital rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 2:45am

    Governments need to learn that they can't make decisions in our name in secret anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      Unfortunately, I suspect the lesson they are taking from this is that they need to do a better job of keeping these deals so secret that no one outside even knows it exists.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    the threat to peace is the USA, 15 Oct 2014 @ 7:43am

    facist givts are gonna get it

    you're gonna get it , you're gonna get it, and a tiny lil ebola scare aint making it happen....

    imagine the conspiracy that THESE corporates put that in play to just get more of there way id rather die of ebola then live through the torture of suppression conservative govts around the world are pushing us into.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    the threat to peace is the USA, 15 Oct 2014 @ 7:44am

    if you keep it secret

    i fyo ucontinue to keep shit secret we the people will tear into those places yo ukeep thigns and take it and share with all.

    be it digital or on paper we will have freedom despite you

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Oct 2014 @ 9:10am

    if there is some shit law introduced, even after the public has protested against it, it is never allowed to be protested against in the future, in case it is then rejected. how come, therefore, when a law is rejected because of public outcry, is it allowed to be brought back at a later date and re-introduced just because it's NOT the public that wants it in place and it's name has been changed?
    as for the repeat performance of what happened when ACTA was on the cards, trying to completely screw the people, while bringing into law only things that would benefit industries etc, removing rights, privacy and freedom, i certainly hope it happens! if TTIP gets in, it will leave almost nothing to be done to turn the whole planet into nothing but giant corporations, with absolutely no recourse for the people! basically, the only people who will benefit from it will be those who are already more or less in control of everything already! this step would give them even more control and more wealth, while removing just about everything from everyone else. reality could easily become what we see in post-apocalyptic films now!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    gorehound (profile), 15 Oct 2014 @ 2:45pm

    Stick it to the Man EU ! Do not let them take advantage of you so rise up and throw even larger protests than the ACTA ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David E.H.Smith, 15 Oct 2014 @ 10:40pm

    SHAREHOLDERS of CETA, et al, may Now be Almost as Concerned as the NON shareholders

    TechDirt readers, et al,
    While the "reticence" of GERMANY, Japan, et al, may be in part due to the new questions that the potential SHAREHOLDERS have regarding the findings of:
    1) the superior courts of the signatory nations of the treaties/"arrangements, including The Supreme Court of Canada, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com "The SUPREME COURT of CANADA;
    The SHREHOLDERS (& their Corporate leaders)
    versus
    the harmless NON shareholders"
    &
    2) "The MERKEL (Chanc. Germ.) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued",
    but,
    the most disconcerting concerns for the global corporate economy may be due to "PUTIN; The White Knight" & "But, Will China Support PUTIN?". Please see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com

    Therefore, doesn't the answer to your question depend upon what you know about "MERKEL" & "The COURT" & what side of the lawsuits you would prefer to be on; do you prefer to receive, or, "give"?
    I look forward to reading about your thoughts, your feelings, your improvements, etc. regarding the enclosed.

    And, how will YOUR improved version of YOUR submission to the Highest Court of YOUR nation deal with the issue of "reasonable doubt" & "the preponderance of the evidence" re; the secret (Death-Star Chamber) Tribunals that seemed to have been designed to protect a criminal enterprise, et al?

    Sincerely,

    David E.H. Smith
    - Researcher
    -“Qui tam..."
    PS - C-CIT, CETA, TPP CORP.'s “secret” vulnerabilities. Please SHARE the info & questions below with your associates/ friends who will SHARE it with 10 other people, etc.
    ******
    For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement,
    TPP, et al, and The WAD Accord
    &
    List of RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS & NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS.
    see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 16 Oct 2014 @ 8:56am

    Security?

    Well, I was about to sign it, but then I saw that although they have the "protect privacy" option, it's all going over plain http... I support the petition, but in this day and age I can't condone a lack of https even on sites that don't ask for your private information.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 17 Oct 2014 @ 5:50pm

    Secrecy is absolutely necessary.

    "Especially if the European Commission continues to conduct the negotiations in secret and without any input from its citizens."

    Especially??

    There is absolutely no way in hell they can conduct these negotiations except in secret.

    Do the bank robbers invite the bank owners to attend their pre-heist planning sessions??

    Does the liquor store robber phone the store to insure the employees and store owner know their time of arrival at the store??

    The idea that these "negotiations" can take place publically is an utter joke.

    First of all the term negotiations might be better written as "divvying up the loot", since this is nothing more than a gang of billionaires deciding how best to screw over the global public legally, with the least personal expense.

    What do you call a secret meeting between a bunch of international billionaires, to decide how best to eliminate and/or circumvent laws that protect the general public from the global piracy of the moneyed classes?

    A Trade Agreement.
    ==================

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David E.H.Smith, 18 Oct 2014 @ 6:33pm

    FURTHER to "SHAREHOLDERS of CETA, et al"...Submission to "The SUPREME COURT of CANADA" & The MERKEL (Chanc. Germ.) Letter"

    *******
    The SUPREME COURT of CANADA;
    The SHAREHOLDERS, corporates CANADA, AMERICA, EUROPE, CHINA, The TRANS PACIFIC NATIONS, et al,
    VERSUS
    the harmless non shareholders of Canada, both; Native & non Native, et al.

    C-CITreaty, TPPartnership, CETAgreement, et al; More Taxes & Less Services to pay The SHAREHOLDERS (Tribunals).

    “WILL The COURT CONSIDER...?”
    Are YOU Depriving your Highest Court of the INFO to Decide Against the Global Corporate Economy?
    Has Frau Bundaskanzarin Angela Merkel (Germ.) shared the Info with YOU?
    by David E.H. Smith

    (CAN.)...Therefore, as a consequence of the aforementioned abuses that have been listed in the enclosed research articles & the dire peril that these abuses puts the NON shareholding Canadians in, both; Native & non Native, et al, as an elaborate, ”inhumane”, ”unethical”, “immoral” & probably, criminal, enterprise, the writer humbly asks; under what circumstances would The Court consider the following?

    1) Will The Court consider ensuring that any further attempts by off shore enterprises, such as the aforementioned attempts by the global corporate “arrangements”, including
    corporate Canada & its associates within the government of Canada, et al, as a “reciprocity pool” of shared “secret decisions” against the non shareholders of Canada, et al,
    will be dealt with punitively.

    2) And, in the interim, until The Court can make a determination of any wrongful intent, &/or, abuses of the ”arrangements” as a criminal enterprise,
    will the open & public Supreme Court of Canada consider
    preventing the further use of the non shareholders' tax dollars from being used to make any, &/or, any more secret decisions against themselves, ie. the NON shareholders.

    3) Furthermore, can, or, will The Court consider ordering the return of any & all of the tax dollars that have been used by the government, &/or, corporate Canada & their lawyers, et al, that have been used for the development of the aforementioned “arrangements” of a what The Court may determine to be a criminal enterprise (for examples; a) as a means of using/legitimizing off-shore money, et al, b) laundering money from the proceeds of criminal enterprises, &/or, c) going toward the funding of “criminals”, et al, who may be involved in other criminal, or, unethical, or, inhumane, immoral enterprises),
    and thus,
    the tax dollars have not been used for the purposes that the taxpayers had intended, such as; for goods, services (particularly to police organizations & judiciaries for their investigation of, not only the aforementioned secret/privileged relationship between corporate Canada via its lobbyists
    and
    the executives of the relevant political parties,
    but, the alleged wrong doing by others, as well),
    programs, health, education, etc. that are consistent with the NON shareholders' understanding of what “good” government entails
    and
    return the tax dollars with punitive penalties paid to the NON shareholding Canadians, both: Native & non Native, et al.

    Similarly, given the reckless endangering situation that the government, et al, has placed the NON shareholders in, can, or, will the Court ensure that the necessary funds will be spent for their, the NON shareholders', intended purposes in order to “guarantee” these services, et al,
    and
    consider ordering corporate Canada, its shareholders & their lawyers, advisers & service beneficiaries of the present “arrangements” will be paid with their own funds, prior to presenting their future “adventures”, &/or, “arrangements” to:
    A) The Court, &/or, its representatives
    and then,
    B) the NON shareholders for their consideration, discussions, improvements, &/or, rejections, et al,
    in open forums that have eliminated the fear of recriminations, retributions, etc. by corporate Canada, its shareholders, The Tribunals, et al.

    4 A) And, less one forgets that the revelation of the present perilous International treaties/”arrangements” began with the regard for the rights of Native Canadians as per the Treaties/”arrangements” that corporate Canada & the Government of Canada have “foisted” upon Native Canadians who have been deliberately deprived of the due diligence information, such as the information in The W.A.D. Accord, et al,

    I am compelled to ask The Court:
    will the Court consider whether, or, not The Court's recent “Tsilhqot'in Decision”, makes
    it easier for corporate Canada, its global economic associates, their shareholders, et al, to sue the Tsilhqot'in First Nation & other Native communities in Canada
    and thereby, to seek financial relief from the harmless NON shareholding, non Native Canadians via the Government of Canada? And, will The Court consider preventing
    any unrelated hardship to the NON shareholders as a consequence of the creation of the
    aforementioned Tribunals & corporate Canada & its associates intent to obtain the unencumbered access to the natural resources that are continuing to be found in Canada & irrespective of Native title to these lands & its resources?

    B) And, similarly, does the plan espoused by the American born Tom Eugene Flanagan which would enable First Nations communities to become municipalities, also make it easier for corporate Canada, its associates, et al, to sue Native communities, or, seek remedies from the Government of Canada (ie. from the NON shareholders) for any encumbrances that the new, Native municipalities, et al, might impose upon the development, &/or, access to the aforementioned natural resources, etc.?

    (And, regarding the settlement of Native land claims that are presently before Canadian courts, & will continue to be before the courts for some time, the following question can help The Court a great deal in these deliberations, and that is; how were Europeans convinced to settle in North America in the first place & in particular, the land that became known as Canada?)

    5) Therefore, can I only hope that given the enclosed information about the abuse, the potential for abuse & the intent of the aforementioned Tribunals which is:
    A) to abuse & to limit The Court's ability to hear...

    *******
    To SHARE Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human
    (Nature) Rights & Economics in 1) the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, TPP, et al, and 2) Native Canadian Treaties via The WAD Accord,
    see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com
    ...For the FULL ARTICLE
    see; The Supreme Court of Canada.
    *******
    “The MERKEL Letter”; To Sue, or, Be Sued?
    Re; The European Union – Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
    and The W.A.D. Accord & Its Compensation.

    What the TREATY of VERSAILLES was to the 20th century PALES in COMPARISON to the TPP, CETA, C-CIT, NAFTA, et al, in the 21st.

    CHANCELLOR Merkel;
    In the matter of the C.E.T.A. and The W.A.D. Accord (THE ACCORD),
    as corporate Germany, and/or, the Government of Germany may be in the process of being:
    1) misled,
    2) misinformed,
    and/or,
    3) deliberately deprived of relevant due diligence information, et al, by corporate Canada,

    and/or, the Government of Canada
    regarding:
    1) the risks,
    2) the liabilities,
    3) the responsibilities
    and
    4) et al,

    that corporate Canada, and/or, the Government of Canada may be attempting to:
    1) avoid paying,
    or,
    2) dilute the amount of,
    and/or,
    3) etc.,
    of its/their contribution(s) to The Compensation that is embodied in THE ACCORD (aka; “The Australian Question”) by way of the design, the development and the
    ratification of THE AGREEMENT and its Tribunals(s),

    and,

    as the attempts at the aforementioned
    “avoiding”, and/or, the “diluting” may be construed as acts
    of guilt of, but, not limited to:
    1) corporate Canada,
    2) the Government of Canada,
    3) the other signatories to THE AGREEMENT,
    4) THE ASSOCIATES
    and
    5) et al,

    raises the due diligence questions regarding the charges against:
    1) corporate Canada,
    and/or,
    2)the Government of Canada,

    for deliberately failing to provide (the) due diligence information to its (THE) ASSOCIATES

    page 1 of 3

    and

    2) raises the due diligence questions regarding the MUTUAL charges against all of THE ASSOCIATES to THE AGREEMENT, for deliberately failing to provide (the) due diligence information regarding THE ACCORD and The Compensation to THE SHAREHOLDERS, and/or, THE POTENTIAL SHAREHOLDERS,
    and thereby,

    THE SIGNATORIES to THE AGREEMENT and THE ASSOCIATES are in the process of creating and developing an ENTERPRISE for purposes, but, not limited to:
    A) defrauding,
    B) manipulating the value of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), stocks, and/or, other financial
    instruments that may be a product of THE ENTERPRISE and its subsequent ventures,
    C) insider trading
    D) racketeering
    and
    E) et al,
    and,
    as a consequence of the creation and the development of the new, secret and superseding jurisdiction by THE ASSOCIATES, and, thus, the creation of the “de facto”
    jurisdiction, and the creation of THE TRIBUNAL(s) in order to:
    1) PROTECT:
    A) THE ASSOCIATES,
    B) the Government Signatories to THE AGREEMENT,
    C) the proceeds of the alleged criminal ENTERPRISE
    and
    D) et al,

    by preventing:
    A) investigations,
    B) evidence and testimony,
    C) findings, decisions,
    determinations, and/or, conclusions
    and
    D) et al,

    from being:
    A) conducted,
    and/or,
    B) disclosed, and/or, made public,
    and thereby, render any, and all, judgements, and findings by the courts of lesser, and/or,
    “non” jurisdictions against:
    A) THE ASSOCIATES, and/or, their representatives,
    B) THE ENTERPRISE,
    C) the subsequent, and/or, associated ventures, et al,
    and
    D) the Government Signatories to THE AGREEMENT,

    to be; moot, null, void, and/or, without merit,
    and thus,
    render any actions against the aforementioned ASSOCIATES, et al, unenforceable
    and,
    provide the basis for “net” counter-suits against THE NON SHAREHOLDERS by way of the Governments of THE NON SHAREHOLDERS, that is to say the Government of Canada, et al,


    page 2 of 3 and

    2) SECRETLY ADJUDICATE, determine and enforce “net” decisions against THE NON SHAREHOLDERS
    and the lesser provincial/state and municipal governments via the agreeable SIGNATORY Governments (that is to say; The
    Government of Canada, et al) by way of:
    A) punitive; fines, penalties,
    and/or, damages,
    B) trade sanctions
    and
    C) et al,
    for depriving THE ASSOCIATES of the profits that could be derived as a consequence of the unimpeded, and/or, unencumbered development of the ventures of THE ASSOCIATES and THE ENTERPRISE,
    and, as a consequence of the
    aforementioned actions, and others,
    I am compelled to inform you of this notification.

    Other charges that have been raised against:
    1) THE ASSOCIATES, and/or, their representatives,
    2) THE ENTERPRISE,
    3) the subsequent, and/or, associated ventures, et al,
    4) the Government Signatories to THE AGREEMENT
    and
    5) et al,
    are:
    1) deliberate ignorance,
    2) malicious intent,
    3) depraved indifference,
    4) reckless endangerment
    and
    5) et al.

    In conclusion, as the Government of Germany has publicly acknowledged its concern about the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” (I.S.D.S.) in THE AGREEMENT, I would ask you, Frau Bundaskanzarin Merkel, if you might be amenable to discussing the merits of enjoining in a suit against:
    1) corporate Canada,
    2) the Government of Canada
    and
    3) et al?

    Sincerely,

    David E.H. Smith
    - Researcher
    - “Qui tam...”
    page 3 of 3

    ******
    For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement,
    TPP, et al, and The WAD Accord
    &
    List of RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS & NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS.
    see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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