TPPWatch Bulletin #22 19 November 2012
Update on the campaign against TPPA
Avaaz Petititon reopened – Target 1 million – to be delivered to negotiators 2pm on 8 December
Sign up if you haven’t! Global activist network AVAAZ launched a petition against the TPP before the last round of negotiations and got half a million signatures within days. The total stands at 720,000. They have agreed to reopened it with the target of 1 million by Saturday 8 December. Devliering the petition at Sky City Convention Centre will be the centrepiece of the Day of Action on 8 Dec at 2pm. Expect speakers, street theatre, and solidarity! Details to come. That evening an awareness raising concert will be held at St Kevin's Arcade on K Rd with local musicians, speakers, materials, and cheap drinks! Details to be announced on www.itsourfuture.org.nz.
Labour Party Officially Sceptical of the TPPA
Two policy remits critical of the TPPA from the Wellington branch of the Labour Party were adopted by a large majority at the Labour Party conference. Next step is for the Labour Party caucus to give effect to the new policy and take a strong stand on the TPPA.
US mining giant uses NAFTA’s investor-state powers to sue Quebec over fracking moratorium
A US-incorporated energy giant Lone Pine Resources Inc. is taking on Quebec’s stand against fracking, saying it violates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the precursor to the TPPA. Lone Pine wants more than $250-million in compensation. This is exactly what New Zealand can expect if we sign up to Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses, and another reason to protest against in December.
Peoples movements mobilise against Thailand entering the TPPA negotiations
Out of the blue the Thai government announced plans to join the TPPA negotiations, to be formalised when Obama visited this weekend. After an outpouring of media concern and civil society opposition domestically and abroad Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra seemed to backtrack, saying "No agreement has been made … We are only expressing interest in studying the details and the pros and cons." That’s the same process Canada and Mexico went through, signing on 9 months later to accept texts they hadn’t seen but agreed not to reopen. There is an upside: when Thailand tried to negotiate an FTA with the US it fed the coup in 2006 that overthrew the Thaksin regime. Seasoned Thai campaigners are welcome onboard the ‘Stop TPP express’.
Japan’s PM dissolves Diet, joining TPP talks seen as main election issue
Japan’s PM Noda dissolved the parliament on 16 November and called an election for 16 December. His governing party DPJ is split over the TPPA and will lose the election. Some are predicting Noda will announce Japan’s plan to participate in the TPPA to set the ball rolling, but it would be pretty meaningless. The stance of the other political parties on the TPP and the political fate of the strong lobby of anti-TPP politicians (who have split from the DPJ) will be crucial.
TPPA on Radio NZ on Sunday
Check out these excellent clips on the TPPA on Radio NZ: Wayne Brittenden's Counterpoint with Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law at Auckland University, and Celeste Drake, an American trade policy specialist; and here with Don McGlashan, Musician and NZ Writer Director representative on the APRA board, and Mika, Chair of Nga Aho Whakaari (Maori in Screen Production).
Upcoming events around the country, more to be announced
23 Nov Wellington 7.30 pm, bands at 8.30 pm. “TPPA? WTF!”: Awareness raising concert at Newtown Community Centre featuring Newtown Rocksteady, Te Kupu (Upper Hutt Posse), and Hula Hope, plus speakers on the TPPA (incl Dr Bill Rosenberg Economist and Director of Policy at the NZCTU). http://www.facebook.com/events/555403291143890/
26 Nov Christchurch 12.30-2 pm. Lori Wallach (US Public Citizen) and Jane Kelsey, ‘Why all the fuss about investors’ rights to sue under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?’, School of Law, Canterbury University, Christchurch.
26 Nov Christchurch 5.30 – 7.45 pm. Lori Wallach and Jane Kelsey, Knox Hall, Christchurch
27 Nov Wellington, 10am – 12 noon. The Council For International Development are hosting a talk by Lori Wallach, Sanya Reid Smith (Third World Network), Jane Kelsey. Wellington Central Baptist Church, 46 Boulcott St.
27 Nov Wellington, 6.00-8.00pm. Lori Wallach, Sanya Reid Smith (Third World Network), Jane Kelsey. Loaves and Fishes, Wellington. http://www.facebook.com/events/335439409888625/
28 Nov Wellington 9am – 1pm. TPPA symposium at Law School, VUW
29 Dec Auckland 6.00-7.30 pm. Stone Lecture Theatre, University of Auckland Law School (drinks and nibbles from 5.30). The Human Rights Lawyers Association presents "The TPPA and Human Rights: A symposium" Lori Wallach; Sanya Reid-Smith, Jane Kelsey, Ass Prof Stephen Hoadley; Daniel Kalderimis (Partner, Chapman Tripp); Stephen Jacobi (Executive Director, NZ-US Council).
1-8 Dec Auckland. ‘Having fun with TPP’ Cartoon exhibition, BizDojo.Co.Space, Karangahape Road, Auckland.
3 Dec Auckland. Fabian Society will host a public meeting on TPP, University of Auckland, details to be advised
4 Dec, Wellington midday. Aotearoa Is Not For Sale Wellington are running a rally in opposition to the TPPA: Tuesday, December 4th, 12noon, Midland Park, Lambton Quay http://www.facebook.com/events/510342432318020/
7 December Auckland. Aotearoa Is Not For Sale: The Big Push. March against Asset Sales, meeting 6pm at Britomart. http://www.facebook.com/events/304092823039121/
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION – WHAT IS YOUR COMMUNITY GOING TO DO?
8 Dec Auckland.
- Aotearoa Is Not For Sale: Shut Down the TPPA. Direct Action: http://www.facebook.com/events/421123814617113/.
- It's Our Future: Rally and presentation of Avaaz petition, 2pm (details to come)
- It's Our Future: Awareness raising concert at St Kevin's aracde from 5pm.
8 Dec Nelson. March up the main street on 8 December, followed by speeches and maybe even a picnic! Contact Mary Ellen O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12 Dec Wellington. Aotearoa Is Not For Sale demonstration at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Details to be announced (AINFS meet at Trades Hall each Wednesday at 5.30).
Reminder: $1500 Prizes in TPPA Cartoon Competition
Three prizes of $500. Closes THIS FRIDAY 23rd November. http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/cartoon-competition/