Thousands expected to march against signing the TPPA
4 February 2016
Thousands expected to march in Auckland against signing the TPPA
Despite disruption to Auckland’s buses, It’s Our Future, organisers of the march down Queen St are confident that thousands will turn out to register their opposition to the government signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
The march assembles at 12 midday on the Queen St side of Aotea Square, and will open with a powhiri and a karakia. Jane Kelsey, an international expert on the TPPA will summarise the latest findings from academic research that shows serious risks from the TPPA. Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union will outline arrangements for the march and Barry Coates, coordinator for It’s Our Future, will kick the march off with some chants.
The march will go down Queen Street to Britomart at a slow pace, allowing for the participation of distinguished elders from several iwi, children and people with disabilities. People are coming from a wide range of organisations representing a range of groups across society including iwi; doctors, nurses and health workers; trade unions; small businesses; actors and musicians; lawyers and academics; and a wide range of NGOs and community based organisations.
The spokesperson for It’s Our Future, Barry Coates said: “We invite all Aucklanders to join our march and express their concern over the TPPA. We hope they will take the day off or take a long lunchtime to exercise their democratic rights.”
“The march will be an important way for Kiwis to join us in a loud, peaceful, passionate, family-friendly march to make it clear that this government does not have a mandate to sign the TPPA in our names.”
Groups and buses arrived arrived last night or this morning from as far away as Dunedin. They have been welcomed and two representatives from TPPA campaign groups across New Zealand will speak at the end of the march, along with Sam Huggard, Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and a spokesperson of the hikoi to Waitangi that has come to Auckland to protest the TPPA. Barry Coates will conclude the speeches by reminding the public that the signing of the TPPA is largely symbolic and Kiwis will have more opportunities to reject the TPPA before it comes into force.
“The message that the march will send this government will send is: Don’t Sign the TPPA!”