CNN is reporting that Donald Trump’s first executive action will be to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. It’s important for the public to understand the context of how the TPP was defeated. By the time the deal came up for a vote in Congress late last year, all the leading Presidential candidates opposed it, due to widespread opposition from across the political spectrum, sparked by a grassroots, years-long, international movement. This piece in The Guardian chronicles some of that history.
Fight for the Future, the digital rights group who organized many of the largest protests against the TPP in the United States, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director, Evan Greer:
The victory against the TPP belongs to the people, not to Donald Trump or any other politician.
An unprecedented international movement of people and organizations from across the political spectrum came together, and lead nothing short of an uprising that stopped an outright corporate takeover of our democratic process. Together we sounded the alarm, and made the TPP so politically toxic that no presidential candidate who wanted to be elected could support it.
The TPP would have lead to widespread Internet censorship, undermined human rights, and devastated our economy and the planet. Corporations attempted to turn the deal into a wishlist for policies they knew they could not pass through a more transparent process. But an unlikely band of labor unions and tech companies, environmentalists, hackers, and Tea Party patriots took on the world’s largest and most powerful corporations, and we won.
As we enter a new stage in history, let the movement that stopped the TPP serve as a reminder to the incoming administration: we the people are organized and powerful. We will not tolerate attacks on our basic rights, whether they come from corporations or the government. If you come for our freedom, we will fight you and we will win.
Fight for the Future has been instrumental in the movement against the TPP. They spearheaded the coalition behind StopFastTrack.com that drove hundreds of thousands of emails and phone calls to Congress in opposition to Trade Promotion Authority legislation needed to pass the TPP, and organized creative stunts like flying blimps outside of fence-sitting Congress member’s offices. They organized thousands of websites for an online "Internet Vote" protest against the TPP, and sent "rubber stamps" to Republicans who were considering supporting Obama’s trade deal.
Most recently, the group lead the largest ground mobilizations against the TPP to date on the Rock Against the TPP concert tour, which featured an array of well known musicians and celebrities including Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, actress Evangeline Lilly, hip hop icon Talib Kweli, comedian Hari Kondabolu, and punk legends Anti-Flag, and Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys. The tour drew large crowds across the country and helped opposition to the TPP reach into the cultural mainstream, with high profile media coverage and a large multigenerational following.
Fight for Future is best known for organizing the massive online protests against the SOPA internet censorship bill in 2012, and has since won major victories for net neutrality and against government surveillance. Learn more at https://www.fightforthefuture.org