On January 31, there will be an Intercontinental Day of Action for communities throughout Mexico, Canada and the United States to say ‘no’ to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other corporate ‘trade’ deals.
The date was chosen to coincide with a week of NAFTA @ 20 events in Mexico City sponsored by groups across North America, including RMALC, RQIC, Common Frontiers, the Trade Justice Network, Citizens Trade Campaign, the Institute for Policy Studies and others.
More than 40 communities on this continent and others will be participating in the day, with 14 actions in Canada so far. Council of Canadians chapters (Nanaimo, Vancouver, Commox Valley, London, Hamilton, Toronto and Brant) will be participating in seven of these actions. In addition, the Kamloops chapter has endorsed the day of action.
It would be great to get even more actions happening across Canada on this day! What kind of actions?
Rallies outside of key politicians’ offices: In the U.S., Members of Congress are being targeted to oppose fast-track legislation that would let the Obama administration rush the TPP into law with minimal debate. In Canada, where this is the status quo for approving trade deals in Parliament, targeting our MPs to demand access to the TPP text makes a lot of sense. TPP transparency is the official position of the NDP and Green party, but all MPs need to see there is opposition to NAFTA expansion in the TPP and Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Marches between symbolic locations: In Toronto, for example, activists will start at the Mexican consulate downtown and march to the U.S. consulate with banners, puppets and speeches from participating organizations. Many other groups will rally in highly visible public spaces at noon or after work.
Information sessions/public events: There is a Chips and Salsa Night in Vancouver, organized by the January 1st Collective, and public forums in many cities. The Commox Valley chapter is going to link the struggles against the TPP to the Hupacasath struggle against the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement with China, including a presentation from Brenda Sayers who is responsible for the legal challenge in her community.
Banner drops and light brigades: In San Diego, a group will meet on a highway overpass at 4:30 to do a banner drop opposing fast-track and the TPP. Once it gets dark, they’ll flip the lights! (See link for example.)
For more information on how you can participate, to endorse the Day of Action, and to register an event, click www.tinyurl.com/tradejustice.