The community and Unions rallied in Sydney in front of the Sheraton Hotel last Saturday October 24th against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.
It was a colourful and vibrant rally that focussed on the latest gathering of free trade ministers from the countries trying to strike a free trade agreement for the advantage of major transnational corporations.
The speakers were Dr Patricia Ranald (AFTINET), Vivien Nguyen (SumofUs), Prof Kimberlee Weatherall (University of Sydney), Jon Edwards (MSF - Doctors Without Borders), Kondo Yasuo (Japan People's Alliance Against the TPP), Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Australian Greens). Street theatre performers were Lindy Nolan from NSW Teachers Fed and Michael Whaites from the NSW Nurses & Midwives Assoc. ABC radio story
The TPPA is an all out attack by governments supporting the interests and demands of transnational corporations that will dramatically affect job security in some countries and industries, the price of medicines and health care, the control of patents and science, access to the internet, the future of public libraries, and much more.
Overriding all of this is the proposal that allows transnational corporations to pursue elected governments for damages and changes to laws if governments make laws that intrude upon their corporate interests. This is the so-called investor-state dispute procedures that are now being actively used by TNC’s against governments in several countries.
There was intense media interest in this protest, including from representatives of the Japanese media. Here is AFTINET Chairperson, Pat Ranald’s, summary of the media coverage of the rally against the TPPA held in Sydney last Saturday morning.