UK protests against trade deal
Demonstrators say no to TTIP
Campaigners today held demonstrations in several UK cities to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a major trade deal being negotiated between the United States and the EU, which protesters say threatens democracy, the environment, and public services including the NHS.
Almost 20 demonstrations took place across the UK with the biggest held in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Protesters in London marched form the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation to the home of the EU in Westminster, Europe House, via the Houses of Parliament.
At Europe House campaigners staged a rally and heard from speakers including Nick Dearden from the World Development Movement and Melinda St Louise of Public Citizen, a US campaign group also hoping to scupper the trade deal. You can hear Ethical Consumer's Tim Hunt interview them both below.
Protesters also staged an NHS vs. corporations football match with the odds stacked in favour of the corporations, a ‘corporate puppet show’ with business executives as puppeteers and doctors, nurses and teachers as puppets. There was also workshops on TTIP.
Campaigners are most exercised about the part of TTIP which aims to set up a secretive ‘court’ in which multinational companies can sue governments if they think a law might harm their profits. Tobacco giant Philip Morris is currently using a similar court to sue the Australian government for billions of pounds because Australia introduced plain packaging for cigarettes.
Campaigners say the deal would also slash food, safety and environmental standards in the UK and the rest of Europe to much lower US levels. Products like hormone-treated beef and pork, and chicken washed in chlorine, could go on sale in the UK.
TTIP could also give big companies the power to force further marketisation and privatisation of the NHS and education.
The message from organisers however was clear, TTIP can be defeated. "We can and we will beat this by growing a movement" said Nick Dearden.
Some of our tweets from the demonstration
Please share any comments you have on todays actions or TTIP in general on our forums. We'd love to hear about any actions in your area.
More from Ethical Consumer on TTIP:
Are we reaching TTIPing point?
Public Services, Privatisation and TTIP
Keep up to date with all the latest campaign news from Ethical Consumer.
Sign up to our email newsletter >
Ethical Consumer on Google+