It's Our Future Bulletin #33 - 09 May 2013
International Day of Action: Saturday 11 May
This Saturday activists across five countries will have actions against the TPPA. The day was chosen to send a shot across the bow for the next round of TPPA negotiations in Lima, starting on 15 May.
A number of activities are planned in here:
Ø Wellington: The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is organising an event to raise public awareness of the implications of the TPPA on public health. On Saturday 11th May outside PHARMAC (Cnr of Victoria Street opposite Civic Square) from 1-3pm. All welcome - please contact Marilyn Head firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘We'd love some help and support!’, including for ongoing pamphleting.
Ø Auckland: banner drops on Southern, Western and Northern motorways, Friday rush hour, 4.30 to 5.30pm, 10 May. If you are available for Northern or Western motorways, please contact Jane Kelsey. We would like to make this a regular event. If you would like to help organise this, please let Jane know.
Ø Jane Kelsey’s e-book Hidden Agendas: What we need to know about the TPPA
This hard-hitting contemporary analysis, published as a short e-book by Bridget Williams Books, picks apart the current negotiations surrounding the proposed TPPA and comes to some disturbing conclusions. The book is being launched as part of New Zealand’s contribution to the International Day of Action. Order your downloadable copy online for $4.99 at www.bwb.co.nz from Saturday 11 May.
Ø Adopt an MP starts on Saturday 11 May
Here is your chance to play the teacher to give your local MPs a sense of what’s at stake. Adopt a local MP of your choice to visit and talk. Sign up for that MP on the itsourfuture.org.nz website (on the adopt an MP tab). An information pack will automatically be emailed to you. It will have suggested questions, links to the fact sheets on the itsourfuture website and the party policies (that we have been able to find!) You don’t need to know a lot – we will provide questions and simple support information and a mechanism for providing feedback. The campaign will begin on the international day of action, Saturday 11 May and run for a month. This is your chance to make a difference! For more detail click on here!
· Australian unions and community groups are holding rallies in Sydney and Melbourne.
· Council of Canadians are launching a ‘trade tour’ in at least 6 cities in Vancouver.
· US activists have 13 events planned across the country.
· Japanese activists plans a big rally in Tokyo on Saturday 25th May, which is when they are due to become an official party to the TPPA negotiations.
· Malaysian TPPA Watch group had a rally several weeks ago.
SPECIAL ALERT: MFAT Offers Consultation Meetings on the TPPA!
What they are saying:
NZ’s TPPA negotiators are ‘planning to hold a further series of TPP stakeholder sessions in major centres from June to August [sorry, when was the first round?]. Stakeholders will be able to hear a first-hand update from New Zealand’s Chief Negotiator on progress in key areas of the negotiation (don’t hold your breath!) as we work towards conclusion of an agreement this year. Officials also plan to hold further dedicated meetings on intellectual property and health-related issues in the negotiation'. Dates and venues have yet to be confirmed. Send expressions interest to attend a stakeholder session or requests for an individual meeting to email@example.com. Please note your specific area of interest in your email.
MFAT has been shamed into this by the Australian’s, who have are holding meetings in 5 cities to give an update on progress, overview of Australian negotiating positions in key areas, as well as information about the negotiations into the future, and will take questions on specific sectoral interests.
Input to Submission to UN Human Rights Commission
The Human Rights Foundation is compiling an NGO submission for the UN Human Rights Commission’s Review of New Zealand’s performance and is interested in any TPPA related input. The report is due on 17 June. There is a briefing meeting at Auckland Trades Union Building, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn on Thursday 9 May from 5pm to 7pm, or contact them with any input.
TV3 Think Tank debate on TPPA
TV3’s Think Tank programme with John Tamihere ran a second panel debate on the TPPA on 5 May 2013, this time with Greens co-leader Metiria Turei, social justice advocate Marama Davidson, and former National Cabinet minister and TPPA cheerleader Wayne Mapp.
Big Phrma on the warpath in Australia
The US pharmaceutical lobby has attached the draft report on the Australian Patents Review as ‘contrary to the spirit in which Australia entered into the TPP negotiations’ and complained that the review process was being used to prejudice the negotiations.
Lori Wallach’s new book on US Fast Track (how they get TPPA through Congress)
The US Congress has a veto power over the TPPA unless the President gets ‘Fast Track’ authority where Congress has to say yes or no to the package an can’t pick it apart. They may move to get this in the next month or two. Lori Wallach has just updated an earlier book explaining how this works and its murky history. Buy kindle version on Amazon at US$5.
Global Asthma Network speaks out on TPPA
On World Asthma Day, chaired of the Global Asthma Network Dr Innes Asher from Auckland University added their voice to concerns that agreements being developed behind closed doors such as the TPPA potentially put at risk the ability of governments to negotiate lower prices for quality–assured medicines.