One more push to be sure we defeat the TPPPublished on August, 13 2016
Leading the Stop the TPP contingent of the March for a Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia. Credit: Ellen Davidson. © 2016 Flush the TPP!
By Nancy Price, Earth Democracy
Because the Democrats failed in the Democratic platform to reject the TPP and to agree to keep fossil fuels in the ground, Popular Resistance’s Flush the TPP Campaign organized actions at the DNC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and then major protests at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. We must now organize to be sure there’s no lame duck session vote right after November 8.
There was a large TPP contingent in March for a Clean Energy Revolution on Sunday, the day before the Convention started, with hundreds marching, carrying great banners and images, and chanting, as reported at Flush the TPP!. And inside, during the Convention, protests broke out, with chants and signs displayed that, if you were watching the TV reports, you probably saw. There’s been nothing like this since the 1968 convention in Chicago.
There are rumors that the leadership in Congress won’t bring the TPP up for a vote. But, we can’t be sure, and it is hard to believe that President Obama will give up on it.
We can’t wait to see if President Obama introduces the TPP in the lame duck session for a vote right after the November 8 election. We must mobilize from now through Labor Day to defeat the TPP.
Here’s what’s at stake!
After Congress members return from the August recess, President Obama will estimate votes in the House of Representatives. If he’s got a simple 218-vote majority, or only lacks 5 to 15 votes, he could immediately submit the required legislation to authorize the lame duck session vote and keep working to swing votes.
Now is the time, during the August recess, to mobilize and organize to ensure your representative will vote “No.” Start now to make plans and appointments.
Here are some resources:
- The WILPF-US/Alliance for Democracy Fact Sheet
- The AFL-CIO on the TPP and labor, Ten Critical Problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- The Sierra Club’s fact sheet, Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Threat to Our Air, Water, and Climate
Here’s what you can do:
- Check the GMO Inside Blog to know how your representative voted on Fast Track, June 2015. Remember: a “No” vote on Fast Track does not guarantee your representative is “No” on the TPP.
- Bird-dog your representative. Check your representative’s website and your local newspaper for dates of events to attend. State briefly your reason for opposing the TPP, and ask for a “No” vote.
- Be sure to read my article, “Climate Justice Requires Trade Justice,” in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Peace & Freedom (pages 3-6).
- Make an appointment and go with colleagues from other organizations to meet with your representative and/or with the staffer assigned to the TPP.
Don’t take “No” for an answer. Organize further to influence your representative:
- Organize a group of colleagues from different constituencies—labor, teachers, health, environmental—on a rolling schedule to sit or march outside the office with signs. Plan a series of office sit-ins, but be quiet and respectful.
- Write an op-ed and letters-to-the-editor.
- Get on a local community TV or radio programs.
We have a historic opportunity, after more than four years of increased mobilization and coalition building, to STOP the TPP from coming up in the lame duck session, and to see that it is stopped for good. If we do, we can go on to defeat the TTIP (TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and the TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) and be well on our way to changing the system, for people and for the planet.