Not too late, TPP opponents told

TPP protesters march down George St on Saturday, during a day of action titled Reclaim Democracy:...
TPP protesters march down George St on Saturday, during a day of action titled Reclaim Democracy: The People’s Alternatives. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement  have been told it is not too late to stop the trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries.

The call came during a demonstration on Saturday, in which about 100 people marched down George St  to the Octagon to listen to speeches.

The rally, titled Reclaim Democracy: The People’s Alternatives, urged opponents to affirm their democratic rights and support initiatives to build a fairer and more sustainable society.

It was initiated by It’s Our Future New Zealand (the campaign against the TPP trade deal), in association with various unions, and political and environmental organisations.Twenty people marched through Oamaru to demonstrate their opposition to the agreement.

The day of action highlighted and celebrated those in the community who were building a better future — whether it was through community housing, supporting refugees and the homeless, growing organics and working in community gardens, creating transport alternatives and community renewable energy, divesting from fossil fuels, or supporting community finance and local exchange schemes.

Dunedin event organiser Jenny Olsen told those gathered, it was not too late to make changes to the country’s future.

"We say no to the TPPA, privatisation and sell-offs. And we say yes to fair trade, the living wage, well-funded and world-class institutions for Dunedin, and a sustainable economy.

"When we — all the people who want change — get together and show our elected representatives what we want, then we’ve got a chance for that change to happen.

"We need to make it happen. We need to get out there and tell them it’s got to happen.

"The fight against the TPPA is still going strong. John Key and his cronies would like us to say it’s all a done deal — let’s pack up and go home.

"But that’s not going to happen. It’s going to be an election issue next year, and we need to hold all the other parties to commit to stopping the TPPA.

"Whatever this Government do — whether they try to force legislation through, which they’re doing at the moment with the TPPA Amendment Bill — it doesn’t matter. We can still say no to it."

Sheets with the contact details of all the political party leaders were made available at the rally, and Ms Olsen asked those at the rally to contact the politicians and express their opposition to the TPPA.

She also asked people to sign a petition, asking the Dunedin City Council to keep the city a TPPA-free zone.

The petition already had almost 1000 signatures, she said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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