By : Collective Ireland
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and the USA.
Public access to the negotiation documents has been withdrawn for 30 years by the EU, and 5 years by the USA.
TTIP is being negotiated in secret.
To force accountability and some form of transparency on those negotiating this agreement, a European Citizens Initiative was launched – this is a petition of one million signatures that forces an official policy review on the EU.
Although signatures calling for a halt to the process of formulating TTIP were collected in record time, the EU refused to register the wishes of over 1000000 European citizens, dictating that an initiative can only be used in a positive manner. This means that protesting in the only way that the EU officially recognises is now pointless.
They’ve decreed it too negative.
Problem Number One: us.
TTIP is already happening. It’s masquerading as CETA. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is an agreement much like TTIP, but between the EU and Canada.
The Canadians have recognised the very real dangers of CETA, but there has been no real grassroots engagement on TTIP in Ireland.
We have given birth to a rapidly growing protest movement out of sheer necessity and frustration. We have recognised the dangers of ineffective and corrupt representation at any level of government and we have conducted ourselves admirably in response.
We have protested into existence every concession the people have received from this government, and we have forced the imposition of a second payment for water and the establishment of the business entity that is Irish Water into election issues. We have, especially in the Greater Dublin Area, hampered the programme of metering that makes Irish Water such an attractive investment opportunity.
You have all done so much more than they will ever acknowledge, let alone credit you for. You have all, in some way or another displayed the courage, and intellect to question a system that neither serves nor protects you. Until the general election is concluded, all we can do is remain visible, palatable and convincing. Do Not Register; Do Not Pay; Object to Irish Water.
We’re all subject matter experts when it comes to The Water Charges so there really is not much point conversing amongst ourselves about it anymore. Talk to those still sitting on the fence and shout at those still not in the know.
Start reminding people that the road to Irish Water has been a long one, and start at the start:
Some very rich people got into serious financial difficulty so they went to their friends in the Irish Government for help. The Irish Government promised to sort out those difficulties, but it turned out that their very rich friends had lied about the level of financial difficulty they were facing.
Instead of punishing those that lied, the government of Ireland punished you.
That’s the bailout in a nutshell – you are suffering under a programme of austerity to repay a debt you did not accrue so that the wealthy can stay wealthy.
Every austerity measure, every added charge and every deduction to social welfare, every patient on a hospital trolley and every child going to school hungry are a direct result of that bailout; the much lauded Promissory Note ensures only that we’ll be repaying that debt until at least 2053, and 13% of all taxes gathered are used to service that debt.
Irish Water and the attempted introduction of a secondary water charge are also a direct result of that bailout. Understand that.
The problem of privatisation now presented by the very existence of Irish Water is a good example of why TTIP should be opposed, but it’s far from the only reason.
If TTIP is ratified EVERYTHING will get a whole lot worse.
The Irish Government will engage TTIP in much the same way that they allowed the bailout – without your knowledge or consent, and to your absolute detriment.
TTIP, like Irish Water, is a stick without a carrot.
There are public meetings and information nights happening regularly all over the country.
Take a well earned break from the tunnel of water charges. We’ll be talking more about this…