tppa

Violent Police Officers are 'just doing their job', and that's why they should be banned from Pride


On Thursday 4th February 2016, tens of thousands of people from across Aotearoa marched, chanted, sang, rallied, and blockaded, putting their bodies on the line in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). It was, hands down, one of the biggest and most successful days of civil disobedience in this country for decades. Auckland was on lockdown. The people’s message was clear: TPPA? No way.

The protesters’ agenda for the day was also clear: non-violent civil disobedience in a display of unforgiving opposition to the trade deal. It seems that the New Zealand Police did not get the memo. As protesters have explained to media outlets, and on social media, the only violence they experienced that day was at the hands of the police.

That police violence included pulling protesters by their hair, throwing them on the ground, and beating them with batons and fists. It involved twisting arms and, in one instance, pushing a protester’s neck at such an angle that it seemed they were trying to break it. Police have also been pictured choking protesters with illegal holds.



While this violence is significant, it should in no way detract from the organised and impressive work of the protesters who unapologetically conveyed their message. That violence should also not be taken to be exceptional: police violence is commonplace at peaceful demonstrations. This instance wasn’t as bad as the extremely brutal crackdown on students protesting the 2012 budget, for example.



Those brave (or perhaps foolish) enough to read the comments on news websites, Facebook, and other social media about the TPPA protests were pummeled with misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and generally bigoted comments. Amongst these was one recurring comment that is particularly important to the Auckland queer community as it decides whether to include police in the 2016 Pride Parade. As many noted, the police were ‘just doing their job’.

The commenters are correct: this is the police doing their job. It is the job of the police to serve the state, no matter how corrupt or undemocratic the practices of that state. This protection is carried out with whatever aggression deemed necessary. On Thursday, it was the job of the police to deal violence to those protesting the absolute evasion of the democratic process in signing the TPPA. This is because it is the police’s job to unconditionally protect and serve the state.

The majority of police violence, however, does not occur when the people stand up in organised public demonstration. It occurs out of a lot of people’s sight. Police violence is ever-present and concentrated in brown and black communities, indigenous communities, and poor communities. For the people in these communities, police violence is never out of sight. It is no mistake or coincidence that these constant instances of violence go largely unreported. They reveal the true function of the police in a colonial, capitalist society: to repress the oppressed.

If we accept that the police’s role in this society is to maintain public order, then the maintenance of that order is inherently violent. In the current order of things, there is a small elite who benefit largely from an economic and social system that structurally privileges the few at the expense of the many. Actions against the dominant order, such as the demand for tino rangatiratanga, require a fundamental re-ordering of Aotearoa. As such, the maintenance of the current order is achieved partly through the incarceration of Māori at a rate almost five times greater than the colonisers.

If the world we live in is racist, misogynistic, transphobic, and homophobic, then those who are responsible for maintaining order in this system are also inherently racist, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and undeniably violent. If Pride is supposed to be an event that challenges the entrenched cisheterormativity of everyday life, then the inclusion of the police is absolutely incompatible with Pride.

So, we have some questions for the Auckland Pride Board and the queer community more generally: is it over? Now that marriage ‘equality’ has been won, is that the end of queer politics? Do the lives and oppression of the poor, indigenous, and other people of colour not matter? Do you not care that there are members of the queer community who are disproportionately targeted by the police and incarcerated? Do you not care that it is the job of the police to sustain the system which oppresses the vast majority of us?

Ongoing issues of racism, transmisogyny, systemic inequality and poverty cannot be ignored by a community that was, not too long ago, feeling the full weight of police and societal violence. The fact that a rich gay couple can now have a ‘normal’ life in the gentrified suburb of Ponsonby doesn’t mean that the fight is over.

In fact, it is far from over. The only reason that the police are no longer systematically beating and jailing people for engaging in non-normative sexuality and gender practices is because thousands of people took to the streets and demanded the decriminalisation of sodomy. It is not because the police have ethically evolved. If you choose to include cops in the parade, you are siding with the oppressor.

Written by T Lamusse and S Morgan 

2

Filipino activists kick off internationally coordinated protests vs Obama Asia trip

April 23 - On the day United States President Barack Obama is set to arrive in Japan on the first leg of his East Asia tour, activists under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) marched to the US embassy in Manila to denounce what they called the “US imperialist agenda in Asia”. The groups clashed with police who were guarding the US embassy. Police used a water cannon against the protesters.

“The US pivot to Asia combines military rebalancing and free trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The US seeks to maintain its dominance in the region by violating the national sovereignty and plundering the economies of their  so-called ‘allies’. The people of Asia stand to gain nothing from the Obama visit and the US agenda he carries,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

Bayan is coordinating with various anti-bases and anti-globalization groups in Japan, South Korea and the United States for a series of protests against the US pivot and the TPPA. Apart from the April 23 protest in Manila, anti-bases and anti-war groups in Japan such as the Asia-Wide Campaign are set to hold protests in time for the US-Japan Summit on April 24. Groups in South Korea are also expected to hold protests against US military bases in the Korean peninsula and the continued implementation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the promotion of the TPPA. Bayan-USA will join Japanese and Korean activists in the US for coordinated actions in the afternoon of April 25 in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and San Francisco. Filipino migrants are expected to hold protest actions on April 27.

What is the TPP?

It’s cool if you don’t know. It’s secret. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade deal-in-progress between Australia, USA and ten others. They’re keeping its content secret from all of us. Wikileak leaks, however, have revealed some of it and it does the gross things listed and more. In short: the TPP reads like a corporate wish-list, but it is bad news for democracy, health care, the environment, workers’ rights, internet freedom and developing countries. More TPP info here. More comics here.

Sending my aroha and kaha to the whānau back home who are heading up to Tāmaki to assert our #TinoRangatiratanga and stand against the #TPP.

I usually keep my posts pretty positive but #FUCKTHETPP and all the corporate greed it represents. #Aotearoa is not for sale!!

We do NOT consent to this crooked, under the table deal by that pōkokohua John Key and his corporate bankster mates to sell off our freedoms for corporate profit.

Shout outs to all the Warriors around the world who are making a stand against this corruption.

This is the real deal whānau, time to show up and show this Govt that it can’t go ahead with this.

#TPPShutdown #NoTPP #FUCKTPP #StopTPP #TPP #tppawalkaway #stoptppa #tppa

Made with Instagram
Reasons I dislike the TPP

- it was done in secret.
- it sets up secret courts.
- these secret courts give foreign corporations the power to sue our government if it passes laws that hurt their profits.
- think about that.
- our government passes laws to give factory workers’ more rights, demand testing on weird new food imports, protect koalas from going extinct - all things that are good for us, but dent corporate profits.
- to pass such laws we’d need to transfer our taxpayer money to foreign corporations.
- or simply, our government will stop proposing such good laws if it foresees a TPP suing acomin’.

This is a profound shift of power from us to corporations.

9

Thousands of New Zealanders turned up across the country today to protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The so-called “trade agreement” extends far and wide and will subordinate the public interest to the narrow profit-driven interests of foreign corporations. This Trojan Horse threatens our country’s sovereignty and undermines our Parliament’s ability to legislate in the public good. 

CONGRESS PREPARES TO SELL US OUT, BIG TIME

“Three powerful lawmakers —House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch — announced legislation Thursday that would allow the Obama administration to fast-track approval” of the Trans Pacific Partnership, reports Common Dreams this morning.

It’s difficult to imagine a bigger threat to democracy. The silence of the mainstream press by suppressing any public interest viewpoint on this is exhibit A for showing how corrupt they are, as Democrats and Republicans unite to sell out the American people, and the people of the world.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After 20 Years of NAFTA Poverty, Lawmakers Move to Fast-Track TPP
‘The Trans-Pacific Partnership would be an unmitigated disaster for everything from the environment to internet freedom and working families,’ - Sarah Lazare, staff writer. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/01/09-7

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SOURCE: Liberty Underground News Service: http://luvnews.info/Join.htm

Tell your friends about LUV News because some people just don’t get it!

fightthetpp.org
BREAKING: the text of the TPP was just released. This is our last chance to stop it.
Take action now and share this to raise the alarm.

Read the TPP here. It’s mostly written by corporate attorneys, so it’s very, very long! Chapter 5 is interesting.

TPP Chapters: https://www.readthetpp.com/preamble.html

Take Action Here:
https://www.fightthetpp.org/?can_id=fca5629830e6c064747f257b10e1448e&source=email-the-tpp-2&email_referrer=the-tpp-2&email_subject=the-tpp&link_id=0

Profits over People: the Trans Pacific Partnership

As Julian Assange’s final appeal of extradition proceeds today, we’d
like to take a moment to reflect on the lessons of Wikileaks.
Wikileaks and its supporters have been relentlessly harassed - both
through the legal system, but more often by the abusive exercise of
raw power. Their alleged ‘crime’? Attempting to bring to light the
conspiracies and deceptions that underly the modern corporate
nation-state.


Transparency is essential to the effective functioning of democracy.
Our votes mean nothing if our elected officials and unelected
bureaucrats can make back room deals without our knowledge. And far
too often, the mainstream media has played along, rather than
fulfilling its civic duty to report truth and hold the powerful
accountable.

Our institutions having failed us, the task is left up to us. The past
year has demonstrated the Internet to be a powerful force for freedom.
While we don’t subscribe to a naive “just add Twitter and water and
watch your democracy grow” theory, the evidence is overwhelming. The
peaceful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the ongoing struggle in
Syria and the global Occupy movement - all have demonstrated the power
of the Net to effective positive change in the real world lives of
millions. To say nothing of the smaller revolutions, closer to our
hearts and homes- the creation of online communities where we can
explore and express ourselves in a world that’s grown ever-more
conformist and standardized; the planting of seeds of local
reconnection with our neighbors.

New communications technologies have always been a threat to people
and institutions in power; they have responded with repression and
restriction. It took 100 years for kings to clamp down on the printing
press; 30 years from the invention of radio to the creation of the FCC
at the behest of the US Navy and commercial broadcasters. We forget
how young the Internet is - most of us have only had access for the
last 15 years. We believe that because it’s always been open, it
always will be.

The SOPA blackout was an amazing and beautiful show of solidarity in
response to further attempts at censorship. The government’s response?
To take Megaupload offline the very next day. There may have been
piracy going on, but millions of legitimate files were lost. The
add-on effects were powerful - half a dozen of the largest file
hosting sites disabled their sharing functionality in the next few
days. We are losing our ability to communicate, yet again.
Only a few days later, Poland erupted in protests over the ACTA treaty
- an attempt at further Net regulation via policy laundering (sneaking
in changes to domestic law in the form of an international treaty).
ACTA has been characterized by an astounding lack of transparency -
negotiated in secret while excluding civil society and NGOs. For many
years, we only knew what was in the ACTA text because of leaks. The
protests have spread all over Europe, and expanded to include
opposition to versions of SOPA in Ireland and Canada (bill C-11). The
European Parliament’s chief analyst for ACTA resigned, calling the
process a 'charade’. The Slovenian ambassador apologized for not
listening to her conscience and refusing to sign; she has called for
people to protest ACTA in her name.

In light of this history, we’d like to bring your attention to the
latest back room deal - the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP is a
“free trade agreement” that will cover the Pacific Rim - US, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Brunei,
Mexico, Vietnam and eventually others - nearly half the world’s
population. It’s being negotiated in a luxury hotel in West Hollywood
(where else?) RIGHT NOW. It’s been called the Son of ACTA - though as
you’ll see, that description doesn’t go far enough. This treaty is
almost comically, unbelievably evil - it’s still true. We’ll be
tweeting links and updating this post throughout the day; we’ve
consulted the experts and done the best research we can - accurate
information about TPP is hard to find due to the secrecy that
surrounds it. Given the urgency, we believed it was necessary to
publish as soon as possible.

TPP is completely secret and non-transparent. Our only source of
information about it has been leaks - NGOs have been left out in the
cold. Even worse than ACTA, the very meetings themselves have been
kept secret. And the memo declaring them secret? Yup, that’s secret
too. All records from negotiation would be kept hidden for FOUR YEARS
after adoption.

It gets worse though. NGOs got wind of this weeks’ meeting four days
before. At previous rounds, they were at least able to mingle with
negotiators during coffee breaks. Totally excluded for this round,
they booked space in the conference hotel in an attempt to give civil
society a voice - only to have the US Trade Representative call the
hotel and kick them out. Scandalous.

TPP is bad for the Internet and innovation. It would require countries
to criminalize non-commercial copyright violation, a provision aimed
squarely at Bittorrent users - imagine being arrested for sharing MP3s
(or even playing them in public without permission). TPP globalizes
the US DMCA’s provisions on circumventing digital locks (goodbye
jailbreaks) and tries to sneak SOPA’s domain seizure in the back door.
It further extends copyright terms and gives rightsholders total
control over imports of legally acquired, genuine goods - so no
bringing home that Mickey Mouse stuff animal you bought on your
overseas trip without Disney’s permission.

TPP would treat temporary copies as copyright infringement, a
provision rejected during the 1996 WIPO discussions. If enforced, this
would literally destroy the web - a browser simply cannot function
without copying the necessary bits to your local machine for display.
Lest we be accused of exagerating, this provision would also apply to
caches run by mobile phone providers, which are technically necessary
for effective browsing on a phone.

But TPP isn’t just bad for the Internet - it’s bad for everyone. Our
personal favorite: the roll back of the humanitarian exemption for
drug patents (generics). People are literally going to die of AIDS &
tuberculosis to protect Big Pharma’s profits. There’s a similar
situation for seeds and other crops- with patent enforcement at the
borders, Monsanto would be able to order customs agents to seize a
grain shipment on mere suspicion of violating its GMO patents, no
judicial review needed. The US lumber industry is trying to use TPP to
force Canada to sell off its provincial-owned forests - and allow it
to bring clear cutting to our northern neighbor. Other clauses attempt
to roll back global financial regulation put in place after mortgage
crisis. Finally, corporations would be empowered to appeal to
unaccountable global institutions (World Bank, WTO, etc.) to force
governments to compensate them for the loss of expected future profits
due to environmental, health and other regulations. This is nothing
less than a corporate takeover of national sovereignty, plain and
simple.

The US Trade Representative Ron Kirk is being “advised” in these
negotiations by a who’s who of the corporate elite (we’ll be
publishing a list later today). At this point, you may be wondering
how the US is going to get other countries to agree to such clearly
unfavorable terms. The USTR uses trade policy as a stick to beat other
countries into line - most favored nation status, the 301 watch list,
tariffs and border controls. Think: “if you want to sell rice, you’ll
implement DRM and drug patents”. We have no objections to tough
bargaining on behalf of Americans, but using this power for the
benefit of a few corporations is outrageous and unacceptable. Don’t be
fooled by arguments about lost jobs - if TPP goes through, the money
will go straight the wealthy elite. This treaty is the very definition
of putting profits over people.

We must act to end the Trans Pacific Partnership NOW. The negotiations
conclude on Friday. We’ll be publishing and tweeting steps you can
take in the next few hours. But we must take action - this cannot be
another round of whining on Twitter and Facebook. If our only outlet
is online, we’re shouting in vain. If you care about freedom,
democracy or the very lives of the people on this planet, you’ll join
us to stop TPP before it’s too late.

We are all Anonymous.
Expect us.

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