Tune in to the latest episode of the Built Environment for an interview with Leadnow campaigners Brittany Smith and Fatin Chowdhury. The episode focuses on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a corporate power grab masquerading as a trade deal. It's likely the agreement has met its demise with the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency; but it's more important than ever to build solidarity with communities on the front lines of climate change and state violence, by organizing against the consolidation of corporate power.
Fatin and Brittany discuss the far-reaching impacts of the TPP and its sister agreement CETA, including consequences for climate action, Indigenous sovereignty and rights, labour and job loss, the cost of healthcare and prescription medication, and internet freedom. Here are a couple of highlights from the episode:
“I think that what Standing Rock also shows is… a great example of how corrupt and unfair and lopsided and fundamentally flawed the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) system is. What’s going on in Standing Rock, Canadian mining companies do all the time. The majority of major and junior mining companies are based in Canada, and they are some of the most violent companies in the world, committing flagrant human rights abuses, hiring third party security to commit egregious levels of violence against land defenders, water protectors, Indigenous communities. And so it links back with ISDS because our foreign investment in other countries, specifically in the Global South, is protected by systems like Investor-State Dispute Settlement. No matter what we do there, our companies are given cover where they can bypass domestic courts, where they can bypass any mechanism of accountability, where they can leverage a system that was build for them, that is run by them, and that benefits them solely.” — Brittany Smith
“Building movements is about connecting the dots. One of the things that is happening in the US, is Standing Rock’s resistance to the North Dakota Access Pipeline… I think it demonstrates the extent to which corporations are invested in maintaining their interests. It also demonstrates the extent to which institutions and the police are invested in protecting corporations rather than the people. Just this week we saw the extent of the violence they’re willing to commit in order to silence people. We really need to connect these different struggles that are being led by Indigenous communities, that are being led by racialized communities, and acknowledge the fact that we need to invest in doing this deep education, but also changing our tactics… Perhaps thinking about how to do things that sustain our movements for the long term.” — Fatin Chowdhury
Learn more at rejecttpp.ca, and if you're in Toronto, join Leadnow outside Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland's office at the intersection of Spadina and Bloor, at 2pm on Saturday, November 26 to show support for public consultation and democracy.