Protesters Plan to Blockade TPPA Signing Ceremony
February 4 2016
Protesters Plan to Blockade TPPA Signing Ceremony in Auckland
Today, hundreds of New Zealanders are joining pro-democracy group ‘Real Choice’ in a planned demonstration at SkyCity in Auckland, to shut down the signing ceremony of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and create a TPPA Free Zone around the area.
The large group of protesters plan to blockade the streets leading to the Sky City Convention Centre where dignitaries of 12 countries are meeting to sign and agree to the terms of the biggest trade deal in history.
Real Choice have anticipated hundreds of heavily armed police and plan to use tactics of non-violent civil disobedience, forming human blockades by linking arms and passive resistance to hold the TPPA Free Zone for as long as they can.
The group publicly announced the blockade on social media, in what Real Choice Spokesperson Julia Espinoza said was “our opportunity to take action for the 800 million people affected by this trade deal as well as to be absolutely clear that we will not move from saying NO to the TPPA”.
“Petitions, marches and lobbying have their place; but now the TPP is being signed on our doorstep, and we feel it is time to try to shut it down and create a TPPA Free Zone,” said Espinoza.
The TPPA has a vast range of implications for New Zealand and Espinoza said “this deal was negotiated in secret, which we feel was undemocratic - and since the release of the final document the government are still attempting to shut the door on democracy by ignoring the growing opposition of an informed public.”
“We invite anyone and everyone to come and peacefully protest with us today from 9.00am onwards. The signing of the TPPA in our country is a slap in the face to our democracy, our sovereignty and our tino rangatiratanga. If there is anything worth taking action on right now, it's stopping the TPP,” says Espinoza.