TPPA Cements Us into 20th Century Thinking
Three women have cemented themselves in place outsid Labour MP Ruth Dyson’s office in Christchurch today as Trade Minister David Parker prepares to sign the CPTPP/TPPA trade deal in Chile.
There was a spectacle at 1pm today as barrows of cement were poured around the feet of the three protestors, with actors dressed as MP David Parker and two labour party officials herding them place.
The actor dressed as David Parker proclaimed that “after years of public opposition, the Labour party is thrilled to cement New Zealand into the renamed CPTPP without the independent review we promised!”
Meanwhile ‘Our Children’s Future’ spokesperson Gen de Spa said that “Far from being the “21st Century agreement” touted by its proponents, the TPPA locks us into 20th Century thinking which is not fit for purpose in today’s challenging times.”
There has been a police presence at the protest since 2pm. For now the three women remain set in cement while other supporters are holding signs with much tooting from people in passing cars. MP Ruth Dyson arrived at 2:45pm and is currently inside the office.
A poll conducted by independent research company UMR in February this year found that a massive 75% of New Zealanders agree that the government should commission an independent analysis of the agreement.
Standing shin deep in concrete, de Spa said “The people of Aoteaora are being cemented into a regressive deal with the signing of the CPTPP. A new name and some changes in punctuation doesn’t change the deal we’ve been protesting for years. By signing we’ll be a step closer to being cemented in place, vulnerable to being sued by overseas corporations when we go against their profits, for example taking action on climate change or to protecting our waterways”
“We’ve got one last chance to get out before the deal is set firm” de Spa said “Kiwis are going to need to get moving to get the government to break out of the CPTPP before the concrete can finally set with it’s ratification by Parliament” she continued.
De Spa was clear that the action today was intended to “send a message to the people of New Zealand – to pay attention and get active, because the Labour led government is pouring the same cement that we were opposing when National was in the mix.”
She finished with a message to the government, “We will continue to work towards ‘people and planet-friendly’ solutions to the big issues the world is facing and to protect our future from dangerous climate change – this is your chance to show leadership on these issues, because climate change really is this generation’s ‘nuclear-free moment’. If you don’t, we’ll be making cracks to grow through the concrete.”
A similar protest has been staged in Motueka, replicating the ‘Cemented in the TPP’ outside Damien O’Connors Labour office.
Years of sustained protest saw Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens all coming into power opposing the TPP trade deal. Now rebranded as the CPTPPA and with negligible changes, the treaty is being signed by Labour in Chile today. Once signed it will still need to be ratified by the NZ government to fully come into effect.