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Bexhill and Hastings World Development Movement in action

Bexhill and Hastings World Development Movement in action

Local activists protest against EU-US trade deal

Bexhill and Hastings World Development Movement group took to the streets last weekend to demonstrate against little publicised moves between the EU and the US, backed by the UK government, which will give private corporations the right to sue governments putting citizens’ interests before corporate profits. Christina Lucey of Bexhill and Hastings WDM reports.

Protestors from Bexhill and Hastings World Development Movement (WDM) group gathered in Devonshire Road in the centre of Bexhill on Saturday 12 July as part of a national day of action to raise public awareness of the grave threat to our democracy posed by a major trade deal – the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) – which is being negotiated by the United States and the EU.

The proposed agreement, they say, threatens democracy, the environment and public services, including the NHS. Passers-by were invited to sign cards for their MP and given copies of a free newspaper containing an in-depth explanation of the action.

Talks on TTIP began in 2013, Denis Lucey from Bexhill and Hastings WDM explained. A new round of negotiations started in Brussels on 14 July.

“The deal aims to set up a secretive ‘court’ in which multinational companies can sue governments if they think a law might harm their profits,” Denis said. “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.

“The deal would also slash food, safety and environmental standards in the UK and the rest of Europe down to much lower US levels. Products like hormone-treated beef and pork, and chicken washed in chlorine, could go on sale in the UK.

“The deal could also give big companies the power to force further marketisation and privatisation of the NHS and education.”

Julia Dance added, “The EU-US trade deal is not really about trade. It’s about putting big business before ordinary people, and allowing companies to override elected governments. It’s a massive corporate power-grab. But there’s huge opposition to it, here in the UK, in the US and in other countries in Europe. If enough people stand up against this deal, we can stop it.”

 

For more information, contact Denis Lucey on 01424 845225 or visit www.nottip.org.uk.

Campaign group 38 Degrees is also coordinating action against TTIP.

Posted 22:12 Monday, Jul 14, 2014 In: Campaigns

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