This week, secret ‘negotiations’ are underway in a remote resort in Lansdowne,Virginia for the greatest global corporate coup in history. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and if you haven’t heard about it, then you are in the majority because there is a virtual media blackout in the United States.
To raise awareness of the TPP and to delay the ‘negotiations’, I shimmied up a 20 foot-high metal pole early yesterday morning in the driveway of the Lansdowne resort and attached myself at the top to a tripod. Negotiators abandoned their cars and walked up the driveway past me on the tripod and our banners that read “Trading away People’s lives and Planet’s future” and“FlushtheTPP.org”
Police arrived almost immediately and initially threatened to spray me with pepper spray and to taser me until I came down. A member of our team tossed me a pair of goggles. I quickly attached my safety lines and then I let go of the poles. I was ready for their assault and willing to accept it knowing that millions will lose their jobs or have poverty wages and slave working conditions, will suffer or die because they are unable to afford necessary medications and that the planet will be poisoned even more by large corporations if the TPP isn’t stopped.
I write negotiations above in quotation marks because this process really amounts to the U.S. using its power to bully smaller nations such as Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru into agreeing to a trade treaty that larger nations will then sign as written. The TPP will redefine the terms of globalization in a way that completely resets the social contract in favor of corporate rights rather than human rights.