Congress Occupied To Protest Fast Track for Trade Agreements

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Above photo: By John Zangas

Rebellion Against Rigged Trade Becomes A 24 Hour Encampment

Washington, DC: Situated between the Capitol Building and the House Office Buildings activists are holding a 24 hour presence to protest trade agreements rigged for the biggest transnational corporations in the world. Popular Resistance, which is part of the Stop Fast Track coalition, organized the Rebellion Against Rigged Trade and has been outside of the Capitol during working hours. With today’s announcement that a vote will come on Friday they will now maintain a 24 hour presence.

“Elected officials are receiving tens of thousands of calls from constituents opposing fast track trade authority and we want them to see that people opposed to this undemocratic approach to passing laws are so dedicated they will stay outside 24 hours a day. Elected officials need to know the anger of their constituents is deep and that if Members vote for fast track, there will be serious political repercussions. We remember the impact that NAFTA had on elections. The people will not let Congress destroy their rights to protect the health and safety of their communities” said Margaret Flowers, co-director of Popular Resistance.Rigged Trade Rebellion at night 6-10-15

Last week the Stop Fast Track coalition organized more than 60,000 telephone calls to elected officials. Breitbart reports that the same kind of grassroots pressure is coming from conservative activists who oppose trade rigged for the cronies and donors of elected officials.

“The grassroots from across the political spectrum is mobilized against fast track for rigged trade. One reason the Republican leadership is rushing to a vote, even though they do not know if they have a majority, is because they fear elected officials being home another weekend hearing directly from constituents and they do not want another week of tens of thousands of phone calls coming in to DC,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance. “This issue will clearly separate those members of Congress who represent their constituents from those who represent big business. It is a clarifying moment and is likely to impact electoral results against individual members of Congress from both parties.”

The Rigged Trade Rebellion is publicly displaying Members’ positions on Fast Track. This is attracting great attention from Members, their staff and particularly constituents who want to know which side their representative is on: with the people or with the multinational corporations.

  • mwildfire

    I’m glad y’all are out there, and I’m hassling “my” own representative (ha!) twice a week, posting on FB and I had an op ed in the Charleston Gazette, BUT–no, this vote will not separate those who represent their constituents from those who represent big biz, because 99% of them are in the latter camp, but the vote won’t be that stark–this is such an obvious and massive betrayal, a lot won’t cross the line this time. But I will not be surprised if they can get just enough votes to push it through…because the stakes are so high, and they need only get it once. So if a lot of the Members who voted for it lose their seats, so what? It won’t end their careers–they can be promised highly paid sinecures for one of the businesses that wants this. Then the new Members of Congress who replace them could be wonderful uncompromisable actual representatives of the people but it won’t matter: these treaties hand over lawmaking power to the world’s corporations. We need to think about options in that event. I like the approach some localities have taken of declaring themselves FTAA/TTP/etc free zones–of noting that these agreements are illegitimate and declaring they won’t be bound by them. I don’t think a national or global transition to a democratic or sustainable or just system is possible, our best hope is to help forge good systems in our own localities–some kind of collapse is inevitable when power gets as calcified as this.