People from all over the United States convened on May 12, 2012 to protest the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel In Addison, Texas. A major international summit on trade and investment was held and numerous activist groups joined Occupy Dallas in a rally and march demanding transparency and an end to corporate trade deals that hurt working people. The activists are asking for good jobs, affordable medicine and a healthy environment. The TPP is an international trade and investment pact between the United States and countries throughout the Pacific Rim and are being negotiated behind closed doors.
Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch is a Harvard trained lawyer who now fights against many of the same people she went to school with. She has held this post since 1995. She is considered an expert on the operations and outcomes of trade policies such as NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA and more. She is steeped in the domestic and international politics of current trade negotiations and disputes. Wallach works closely with Congress and civil society, scholars, and activists in the U.S and developing countries to foster the growing debate about implications of different models of globalization on jobs, off-shoring, wages, the environment, public health and food safety; equality and social justice and democratically accountable governance.
“Public Citizen, realized, early on, that was being advertised as a trade agreement were really sneaky back door ways for the same special interests, the big banks, the agri-business that poison our food and our kids, those companies had decided to us the venue of international commercial trade negotiations to try and get done what could never get done in the sunshine of our congress, or state legislatures and this is only stuff you can do behind closed doors. So they use the cover of these trade negotiations to get prices jacked up on medicines prices, elimination of food safety regulations hoping no one will pay attention.”
The demonstration ended peacefully but with a great deal of tension due to the large armed police presence. There are more demonstration planned for the next round of negations to be held in Chicago. Lori Wallach will certainly be there.
Bill Amos moved to North Texas in 1999. He was raised in Washington, D.C. and has a BA in Political Science from the University of Maryland and a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore. He has worked for many politicians from Mike Rawlings for Dallas Mayor, Bill White, Tom McMillen and Jimmy Carter as well as the Progressive Center of Texas. He is a musician who performs locally under the name Billy Earl and the Pink Flamingos and has his first book coming out this summer “Jolie Rouge”, a political murder mystery.