Thousands of Kiwis plan for Action against TPPA on 8 November

6 Nov

Thousands of Kiwis are expected to take to the streets in seventeen towns and cities across the country this Saturday to voice their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Trade ministers from the twelve participating countries, including New Zealand, will be meeting at the same time in Beijing to try to bring the secretive negotiations to a close after more than four years.

“There has been a massive response to the call for Kiwis to fight back against a deal that puts the interests of big corporations ahead of ordinary people”, according to Its Our Future spokesperson Edward Miller. “Thousands have signed up to attend on Facebook, and if even half of those join us it would make it much bigger than the day of action held on 29 March this year.”

President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly says: “We are urging people to support this day of action because the TPPA contains threats to our health system, our public services, our ability to use government purchasing to develop our economy and improve our environment and working conditions, and our right to make changes to our laws and regulations in the interests of most New Zealanders.”

The TPPA increases the power of international corporations and reduces the power of elected governments and their citizens to resist corporate demands.

“It is the wrong kind of international agreement for working people, New Zealand and the world”.

Executive Director of Greenpeace Bunny McDiarmid says that, “this anti-trade deal should be stopped. It puts the interests of foreign corporates above those of kiwis and is a threat to our seas, our air, our economy and our health.”

Another major sponsor, development agency Oxfam, supports the Day of Action on 8thNovember as giving voice to “the many in New Zealand who are concerned about negotiating away rights behind closed doors.”

Executive Director Rachael le Mesurier warns that “the TPPA not only poses risks for democracy, but may also hinder New Zealand from making policy that is in the public interest, such as taking action to prevent catastrophic climate change”.

“We are particularly concerned about the impacts of the TPPA on developing countries, It’s simply wrong to impose unfair trade restrictions that benefit the big players just when developing nations need a hand up, not to be shut out.”

Events are planned in AUCKLAND (1pm at Aotea Square), HAMILTON (1pm at Garden Place) TAURANGA (1pm at Red Square), RAGLAN (10am at Raglan Jetty on Bow St), ROTORUA (1pm at Kuirau Park Courts), GISBORNE (1pm at Derby Street), NAPIER (1pm at Napier Council Steps – 231 Hasting Street), WANGANUI (11:00am at Majestic Square), NEW PLYMOUTH (1pm at Puke Ariki), PALMERSTON NORTH (1pm at The Square), LEVIN (11am at Te Takere Library/Community Centre), WELLINGTON (1pm at The Bucket Fountain), NELSON (1pm at Millers Acre i-SITE), CHRISTCHURCH (12:30pm at Shand Cres Park), TIMARU (1pm at Bay Hill Piazza), DUNEDIN (1pm next to the Otago Uni Dental School) and INVERCARGILL (1pm at Wachner Place).

The sponsors for the Day of Action are Actors Equity, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, Unite Union, FIRST Union, Greenpeace, Maritime Union of New Zealand, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Oxfam, Post Primary Teachers Association, Public Service Association, Service and Food Workers Union, Tertiary Education Union.

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