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Rally for Democracy: Building the movement for change

Media Release - for immediate release

Rally for Democracy: Building the movement for change

Nationwide events on 10 September

Rally for Democracy events are being held on Saturday 10 Septemberin ten towns and cities across New Zealand, featuring an impressive line-up of musicians and speakers. A broad coalition of groups who have spoken out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has come together to link those concerns to a range of core issues that affect all New Zealanders and the future of our country.

These events aim to grow the movement of New Zealanders who are prepared to stand up against the erosion of democracy and are committed to support community initiatives and campaigns for change.

General Secretary of FIRST Union, Robert Reid said that all New Zealanders needed to stand up for democracy. " Every day ordinary citizens are losing more and more control of their lives to the global corporations. It is time for us to stand up for a real people’s democracy."

Council of Trade Unions Secretary, Sam Huggard added: “Kiwis deserve so much better than this. Trade can be a positive thing which strengthens our communities and society. The TPPA is about money, not people, so it makes sense that working people have added their voices to demand better, to demand fairness and transparency.”

Greenpeace Executive Director, Russel Norman commented: "The TPPA will make it harder for democratically elected governments to protect the environment, including efforts to reduce climate pollution. If, for example, an incoming government acted to block oil exploration permits issued by a previous government, in order to protect the climate, the new government could be sued under the TPPA for the potential loss of profit. New Zealand faces some unprecedented environmental challenges. History tells us that when people join together for a green and peaceful world, it works. Saturday is about saying we are prepared to stand up for the kind of country we want.”

Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand Rachael Le Mesurier, said: “Addressing climate change and reducing poverty must go hand in hand. We believe that inequality is not inevitable – and that it’s the responsibility of every one of us to challenge the processes and political decisions that undermine the pursuit of a fairer, more sustainable society, whether in the Pacific where Oxfam works or here in New Zealand.”

Executive Director 350 Aotearoa, Niamh O’Flynn explained: ““We’re starting to see a "trickle-up" effect from the efforts of a global climate movement, built with the power of ordinary people. It's this kind of long-term movement building and campaigning that challenges business-as-usual and will create a just, prosperous, and equitable world."

Auckland University Law Professor, Jane Kelsey commented: “Throughout the world people and governments are rejecting so-called ‘free trade’ agreements through which corporate interests can override democracy, human rights and people’s right to decide our own futures. The Rally for Democracy will build on the massive campaign against the TPPA, as we in Aotearoa play our role in turning the tide.”

Coordinator of It’s Our Future, Barry Coates which initiated the Rally for Democracy events concluded: “The majority of the public that is against the TPPA don’t buy the argument that multinationals need more rights and power over governments – they have too much power already. Foreign investors need to pay taxes, compete fairly and abide by our laws. It is small New Zealand companies that need support, and the public interest that needs to be prioritised.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

The Auckland event at Victoria Park at 1-7pm features musicians including Moana, Jason Kerrison, Mihirangi and 16 exciting musicians, bands, rappers and poets. Speakers include Jane Kelsey, Russel Norman, Robert Reid, Rachel MacIntosh (for CTU), Rachael le Mesurier, Niamh O’Flynn, speakers from Park up for Homes, Ora Taiao, GE Free, CPAG, Auckland Peace Action and Park up for Homes and Barry Coates as MC. See https://itsourfuture.org.nz/event/auckland-rally-democracy/

The Wellington event in Civic Square 12-4pm features musicians including Not the Day Job, Warren Maxwell, Sam Manzanza Band, Matt Pike, Whole Lotta Led and many more. There will be a range of speakers including Sam Huggard, campaigners, NGOs and politicians.

Christchurch’s event ‘The TPPA – Not a done deal’ will start at Fountain Park, Shand Crescent Reserve, Riccarton at 1pm with musicians Lucky Lost and Natural Pirates, speakers and a march. The event will return to Shand Cres Reserve for concluding speeches to finish at 3pm.

The Dunedin ‘Protestival for Democracy’ will march from the Dental School to the Octagon, starting at 1pm with music and poetry featuring Kira Hundleby, Daryl Baser and Whisky and the Wench. Speakers include Council candidates, activists and TPP campaigners.

Other events include Hokianga, Whangarei, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson. Details of all the events are atwww.itsourfuture.org.nz


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