September 23, 2016
We came, we rocked and we sent the message louder than ever: NO TPP, thanks!
Our own Meghan Sali flew over to Toronto late last week, after months of extensive preparation for Rock Against the TPP in collaboration with our friends from Fight for the Future, Firebrand Records, and CWA Canada. Her mission: to help make this concert a big success and send Ottawa a message they can’t ignore.
In case you hadn’t heard about Rock Against the TPP before now, Fight for the Future started this concert tour a couple months ago in the United States in order to raise awareness about one of the most controversial deals of our time: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was signed by its 12 participant nations in February of this year, but which is still awaiting approval.
Despite strong opposition in nearly every nation which signed it, most political leaders have turned a blind eye to such protests and President Obama - arguably, the most important player of the game - has recently been asserting that he will try to ram the TPP through the lame duck session of Congress before he leaves office in January.
The day of the concert all started with our Meghan Sali working with Mark from Council of Canadians to set up a blimp outside of Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office.
As Meghan and Mark were standing there watching over the blimp, a bylaw officer came up to them to write them up for some sort of “airspace infraction”. She asked for their names and looking up at the blimp, remarked, "what are you here for – rock against the TPS, or whatever?". Meghan replied: “we are here for Rock Against the TPP and this is Minister Freeland’s office”. “TPS...Mr. Freeland…” wrote down the officer. (That must have made for an interesting report, and as Meghan noted on Twitter, underlined the need to educate the public about the TPP).
At 6 pm, the concert at the Opera House kickstarted featuring legendary Pittsburgh-based punk band Anti-Flag, Bronx-based hip-hop duo Rebel Diaz, Evan Greer, Taina Asili, Mark Brathwaite, Homeless Gospel Choir, Test Their Logik, New Tradition, Mineta, and DJ Dynamic. Best of all, a large and energetic crowd of around 700 people turned up to show their opposition to the TPP deal!
The next day we held a teach-in for those who couldn’t make it to the concert and/or were keen on learning more about how we can fight back against the TPP. We were joined by some of the artists from the concert, like Anti-Flag - a group well known for their political activism. We were also joined by key members from our allies including Leadnow, Unifor, Council of Canadians, and the United Steelworkers. All in all, we saw a really encouraging array of ages and backgrounds turn up to this event, which just goes to show how the TPP is of growing concern to the average citizen and will affect us all if ratified.
Last but not least, our whole team here want to send a big shout out to everyone who showed up to these events - it is solid proof of just how many people care about Internet freedom, and the TPP’s negative impact on our society and economy. The great news is that our movement against the TPP is only growing stronger, with new people joining everyday as they become informed of the threats posed by this deal.
If you’re in Canada, make sure to submit your comments to your MP and the Parliamentary Committee reviewing the TPP at LetsTalkTPP.ca. The public consultations are running for just another few weeks, so it’s vital that we help get as many people as possible on the public record. And, if you’ve already spoken out, don’t forget to share it with all your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
March 15, 2018
March 5, 2018