The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is an agreement that has no end point, once it’s enacted, that’s it, we’re stuck with it. It was originally a trade agreement between New Zealand, Brunei and Chile with Australia, America, Malaysia, Peru, Japan and Vietnam getting in on the action a little later.
It is being negotiated in secret by “interested” parties (corporate stooges & Government Lobbyists) bypassing our parliament and in turn our democracy, International treaties are conducted by the executive, parliament does not have an effective say in this process until the deal is done, we the public don’t get to see the the text until it is concluded and signed off by cabinet, and even then they have a four year window in which they don’t have to release the text the public.
The TPP will stop our Government from being able regulate industries such as mining, tobacco and pharmaceutical in ways that could hurt the profits of corporations or from funding projects that other companies see as giving said company an unfair advantage. We don’t know a great deal about it as you would expect from something being kept a secret, but a recent leak from Wikileaks revealed officials really don’t expect to gain any agricultural benefit from the TPP. Increasing intellectual property rights in the TPP would undermine access to affordable medicines in Australia and the other participating countries, which include some of the world’s poorest countries. This would present a major setback to efforts to stem the tide of non-communicable diseases, which are predicted by the World Health Organisation to account for 73% of deaths and 60% of the global burden of disease by 2020.
If negotiations are successful it will guarantee foreign investors an enormous range of rights including the right to take the Australian Government to a private international arbitration court for millions of dollars in damages if they were to regulate in ways that reduce the profitability and value of their investment.
To give you an idea of who’s pulling the strings in these negotiations is the latest news that a bunch of big companies who employ some of the key lobbyists supporting the extreme nature of TPP on Feb 24th hosted a fancy, expensive dinner in Washington DC. The dinner was sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce, Philip Morris, Chevron, PhRMA, Microsoft, Pfizer, Amgen, Dow Chemical, among others… and the ambassadors from the TPP countries were all in attendance.
TPP is being called a Free Trade Agreement but it has very little to do with trade or economics, it is little more than a US led counterpoint to China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
First we had #SOPA then #ACTA now TPP/TPPA
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a “free trade” agreement currently under negotiation between NZ and 8 other countries, including the U.S, but trade is only a minor part of the agreement. A TPPA would be an agreement that guarantees special rights to foreign investors.
From March 1-9 the 11th round of negotiations between the countries involved will take place in Melbourne. There have been numerous rounds since negotiations began in March 2010. They originally aimed to finish it in late 2011now they say 2012
So why do we need to stop it?
If these negotiations succeed it will create a treaty across 9 countries that will put major restrictions around what policies and laws our governments can adopt for the next century – think price of medicines, GM labelling of food, foreign investment laws, ISP control & internet censorship.
What can we do to stop it?
Educate ourselves, educate our friends and family.
Get the word around all your networks, Twitter, Facebook pages, websites and other social media.
Organise or join meetings and action around the TPP/TPPA
For More Info on TPP/TPPA checkout these links:
To join actions here in Australia and help disrupt there secret meetings Checkout Occupy Melbourne | http://www.facebook.com/events/373973035949346/ |
http://occupytppa.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/tppa-rewriting-the-global-rules-on-ip-enforcement/ | actions planned around the conference. It’s time to stand up and say enough is enough, we will decide our future not you.
So, people were all up in arms because Aboriginal activists burnt an Australian flag. I don’t agree or disagree with what they did, but I completely understand it. While some white Australians might feel a sense of pride when they look at our flag, (not all of us do and there are more than you would think that do not), when an Aboriginal person looks at it I imagine they see a symbol of the people who took away their freedom, massacred their ancestors, and destroyed the land they feel bound to. How the hell do you then ask someone to respect that? Stop deluding yourselves into thinking that everything in this country is “all good”. If we really are the great country we think we are there’s a few things that needs to change, and our flag is one of them. The Union Jack needs to go, it’s a symbol that separates the people of this country, not one that unites us.
I’ve read some really whack shit, like really ignorant caveman bullshit, on Facebook and in the newspaper, and if I wasn’t blessed enough to have some really decent people as friends, I think I might have done some stupid things.
Aboriginal people do not feel grateful we occupied their country, and they can now get abstudy, nor should they. They never gave this country to us, pick up a book you brainwashed stooge, and to the wanker who said they should never have been recognised as human, I hope very bad things happen to you.
We are not a Christian nation and religion has no place in making the laws that govern this country, around half the population identify as some form of Christianity and I reckon half of them wouldn’t know what the inside of a church looks like, or the bible.
Australia is a mediocre country that has deluded itself into thinking it’s the light of the world, it reminds me of a young America, and we see where they are now. If we really want to move forward as a nation we need to make peace with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters, as a wise friend put it to me we need to ask how we can support them how they would like our help not how we WANT to help.
The Dresden Dolls lead singer Amamda Palmer, post performing a ninja gig organised for Occupy Melbourne.
She talks about her experiences visiting the different Occupations around the world during her tours, how she’s seen the different police and government forces behaving towards councils and how she sees it reflects upon the tone of the city itself.
She gives her view of some of the issues which effect Americans, what she hopes the Occupy Movement has effected when it comes to the current generation of people in the world. She speaks on why she thinks the government and police forces crack down so heavily on Occupations
She finishes up with a message for those who are critical of movements such as Occupy.
Video Credits: kenjiwardenclyffe
Don’t Frack With our Children’s Future!
Hydraulic fracturing (also called “fracking”), is a method for extracting oil and natural gas from the earth.
Hydraulic fracturing, the growing practice of drilling for the natural gas embedded in shale rock formations deep below the Earth’s surface, is contaminating water in many places. Critics of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are arguing that the chemicals used in shale gas drilling leak into groundwater supplies. Landowners in shale gas drilling areas have reported foul smells in tap water, and toxic chemicals, such as benzene, have been detected in water from wells near drilling sites. In some cases, tap water can even be set aflame because it is contaminated with volatile chemicals because of shale gas drilling.
So how does this affect us?
The Federal Government has approved three major coal seam gas (CSG) projects in Queensland worth $66 billion. Collectively and under myriad management rules and conditions set down by state and federal government, these three projects alone will drill more 18,000 wells in the coming decades. Overall, the state government expects between 25,000 and 35,000 wells to be drilled.
Australia’s underground water reserves, ancient water held in rocks for millennia the famous Great Artesian Basin may be compromised by too many gas wells operating in the same area, not to mention what this could to to inland lakes and local river systems.
Australians need to wake up to the plans of major mining companies and demand our governments start operating in the interests of this country and it’s citizens.
Enough is enough
The City of Sydney has voted to replace the words “European arrival” in the official record with “invasion”. The deputy lord mayor, Marcelle Hoff, says it is intellectually dishonest to use any other word in describing how Aboriginal Australia was dispossessed by the British. “We were invaded,” said Paul Morris, an Aboriginal adviser to the council. “It is the truth and it shouldn’t be watered down. We wouldn’t expect Jewish people to accept a watered-down version of the Holocaust, so why should we?”
Read the full article by John Pilger here: http://www.johnpilger.com/articles/the-invasion-of-australia-official-at-last