The awakening of mass political consciousness is happening, and corporate elites can’t do a thing to stop it.
These are times of great secrecy and misinformation. Government and corporations hide their actions to avoid public disapproval and accountability. Courageous truth-tellers are persecuted for exposing the deep corruption. We depend on whistleblowers to expose the lies and shine light on information that is hidden from the public so we can understand what is happening around us. We need to know the truth in order to participate in the great debates that shape our futures.
This week, we learned that a brave whistleblower gave the text of the full intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to Wikileaks. This text was released to the public on Wednesday and has spurred quite a stir as we discover that our concerns about the TPP are justified. We learned that the United States stands out in bullying other countries on behalf of multinational corporations and that the TPP will provide extraordinary patent protections and internet restrictions designed to further enrich the wealthy while the race to the bottom accelerates.
A confluence of events this week has weakened the chances of the TPP’s survival. On Tuesday night, there were light brigade actions in 13 cities from coast to coast. And three letters signed by 180 members of the House of Representatives were submitted in opposition to the President’s request for Fast Track, an authority that would allow him to negotiate and sign the TPP before it would go to Congress for limited debate and only an up-or-down vote. Two letters were signed by Democrats, another by Republicans. Three-quarters of Democrats oppose Fast Track and one-third of Democrats on the committee responsible for Fast Track oppose it as currently constituted. The former US Trade Representative said in 2012 that to complete the TPP “ We’ve go to have it.” Now, Congress will not consider Fast Track until the do-nothing election year of 2014, if even then.
Opposition to the TPP continues to build. Next week, negotiators will be in Salt Lake City, UT and actions are being planned to protest those meetings. Communities are starting to pass resolutions saying that they will not obey if the TPP changes laws in a way that harms them. You can learn more about this on an open training call on November 20. A global day of protest against toxic trade agreements is being organized for December 3. And that same day, two members of the Australian Parliament will submit a request that the text of the TPP be made public.