Fight for the Future statement on signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which threatens Internet freedom, democracy, and free speech
Today, leaders from 12 countries will gather in New Zealand to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The act is largely ceremonial––before the deal can become law it must be ratified by each country’s legislature, including U.S. Congress where it faces fierce opposition from both left and right.
Protesters gathered in front of the White House today ahead of the signing with signs reading "TPP = Betrayal" and "TPP would kill the Internet." See photos here. More protests are planned across the country tomorrow. See list of actions in 38 cities here.
Fight for the Future, a prominent digital rights group that has organized massive protests against the TPP involving thousands of websites, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:
"The TPP signing today is theater, and the actors are not very convincing. Everyone knows the real fight will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle.
A massive coalition of activists is gearing up to fight the TPP, which poses a grave threat our ability to freely share and access information on the Internet.
Recent polls show that the more people learn about the TPP, the less they like it. Once we’re done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as the censorship bill SOPA was after the Internet Blackout.”
Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit that has driven more than 150,000 emails and more than 20,000 phone calls to Congress opposing the TPP in recent months, rallied more than 7,500 websites for an online protest, and helped coordinate a letter to Congress from more than 250 tech companies expressing transparency and tech related concerns about Fast Track legislation.
The group made headlines last March when they flew a 30’ blimp over several of Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall meetings calling for him to "Save the Internet" by opposing Fast Track for the TPP, and then parked a Jumbotron on capitol hill to display the viral video they made about the stunt. Fight for the Future also made a splash on the hill when they delivered actual rubber stamps to every house Republican’s office with a mock letter from President Obama asking Congress to "please rubber stamp my secret trade agenda.
The group is beginning plans for a major nationwide "Roadshow" featuring well-known musicians and speakers to galvanize opposition to the TPP, and will be announcing additional plans in the coming weeks.