Shadow Chancellor to speak at rally against EU-USA trade deal
A rally against TTIP, the controversial free trade deal between the USA and the EU is marking a year of sustained campaigning against the deal from activists, trade unions, consumer watch dogs and NGOs across Europe. On 6 October 2014, the European Citizen’s Initiative was launched, and a year later it was submitted to the European Commission with over 3 million signatures from across Europe, including over 500,000 from the UK, calling for a halt to the TTIP negotiations.
When: Tonight, Saturday 10 October 2015 at 18:30
Where: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London W1R 4RL
Critics argue that TTIP would severely threaten social, health and environmental protections, privatisation of vital public services and create a system of 'corporate courts' so big business can sue European governments for policies affecting their profits.
Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now said:
“In just over a year TTIP has gone from being an obscure set of acronyms, to a political controversy that millions of people across Europe are opposing. If we value the right of our elected officials to pass legislation without the fear of being sued for billions by the corporate sector, then we need to stop TTIP. If we want to maintain important legal protections of labour rights, the environment and our health, then we need to stop TTIP. It’s great that the opposition parties are starting to stand up to the army of corporate lobbyists at Brussels who are the driving force behind this toxic trade deal.”
The TTIP negotiations have become increasingly controversial in many different countries. Last week the French trade minister threatened to “call a complete halt” to the process if things didn’t change, saying that the “total lack of transparency” posed a threat to democracy. There has been no scrutiny of the deal from by elected representatives in the UK parliament who are not allowed to see the draft texts. UK representatives will only see the deal when it has been complete and will get a vote to accept or amend without amendments. Last week it was revealed that all 56 MPsfrom the Scottish National Party had signed an Early Day Motion that expressed serious concerns about TTIP.
The rally against TTIP in London is part of a Europe-wide day of action against TTIP. A selection of actions, banner drops and street stalls will also be taking place in Cambridge, Nottingham, Brighton, Kendal, Glasgow, Reading and Brixton on the same day. 50,000 people are expected to take to the streets in Berlin in a #noTTIP protest today.
Full list of speakers the TTIP rally: John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer), Natalie Bennett (Leader of the Green Party), Asad Rehman (Friends of the Earth), Tobias Menzies (Artists Against TTIP & Game of Thrones), Adrian Weir (Assistant Secretary General, Unite the Union), Jeremy Hardy (comedian), Carrie Cracknell (Artists Against TTIP)
The event has been organised by Global Justice Now, Friends of the Earth, 38 Degrees and War on Want.