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Rally, festival against TPP June 25 in Tacoma

TACOMA (June 3, 2016) — The tide is turning against the TPP, and Tacoma plans to celebrate.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive 12-nation “free trade” agreement that would set NAFTA-like rules for about 40 percent of the global economy, is growing more and more unpopular. The official government report — expected to boost the case for the TPP — actually found that its positive economic impact would be statistically insignificant. All three remaining presidential candidates oppose it and say they want to negotiate a better deal for American workers and the environment.


Here in Washington state, Rep. Adam Smith (D-9th) announced that he will vote “no” on the TPP, and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO turned up the heat on his congressional colleagues who haven’t said how they intend to vote.

The work that organized labor, environmental groups and others are doing to stop the TPP is having an impact. So much so, that desperate — and increasingly xenophobic — TPP supporters have pinned their hopes on ramming the TPP through Congress during the lame-duck session between the election and the swearing in of our next president.

That means, of course, we need to step up the pressure. So mark your calendars for two major TPP events in Tacoma later this month:

Festival for Trade Justice: Oppose the TPP, Celebrate a Fair Future

TacomaTPPFestival-posterCome for the rally, stay for the festival! On Saturday, June 25, join hundreds of South Sound residents to demonstrate your opposition to the TPP. (Download the event poster.)

At noon, participants will gather to rally against the TPP. The keynote speaker will be Larry Cohen, Past President of the Communications Workers of America, followed by short speeches from local labor, environmental, and community organizations.

The rally will be immediately followed by a trade-themed festival. Bring your families and friends for live music, performances, craft stations, and free food. Play for prizes in our Carnival of Corporate Greed and compete with your neighbors in the Three-Legged Race to the Bottom and Democracy Tug-of-War.

This rally and festival will be Saturday, June 25 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wright Park in Tacoma. Sign up here for updates, to volunteer, or to put together a team for one of the events. See the Facebook event page for more information.

The sponsors include Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America, Washington State BlueGreen Alliance, Pierce County Central Labor Council, Food and Water Watch, 350 Seattle, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23, Teamsters 117, IAM 751, Greenpeace, Equal Exchange.

Interested in sponsoring? Email or

The Devil’s in the Details: A Closer Look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Building up to the big rally/festival, on Thursday, June 9, there will be a general overview of the TPP and what it means to Tacoma. Participants will then break out into groups with local experts to delve into some controversial aspects of this massive trade deal that are rarely discussed. Learn how the TPP is linked to wage stagnation, why indigenous groups from South America to Southeast Asia are marching against it, and how it would allow fossil fuel companies to sue governments for common sense regulations.

This event will be Thursday, June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound’s Kilworth Chapel, 1500 N. 18th St. in Tacoma. It is sponsored by the Sound Policy Institute, Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America, Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Washington State BlueGreen Alliance, Food and Water Watch. See the Facebook event page for more information or to RSVP.

Please make plans to attend both of these important events and to spread the word about them.

ALSO at The Stand:

TPP-binderLet’s reject this TPP, go back to the table, and get it right (by WSLC President Jeff Johnson) — Here in Washington state, we never seem to have a serious debate about whether these free-trade deals are really good for people or the planet. Our state’s elected officials often willfully ignore the clear connections between decades of globalization under these deals, the growing crisis of climate change and an out-of-balance U.S. economy that has decimated the middle class.

Instead, the debate gets dumbed down to this: “Washington is a trade-dependent state. This deal will increase trade. We should support it.”

Let’s dig deeper. This is too important. We need to get this right.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

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