Rally For Fair Trade, Against Fast Track

By Paul Garver

 TPP.jpg

DSA members in the Washington, DC area are joining a massive rally for fair trade called by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and the numerous other national organizations that comprise the Citizens Trade Campaign, including DSA.  The rally is taking place on Wednesday May 7 at 1:30 PM at the Upper Senate Park on Constitution Ave.

Freshly back from his Asia trip, President Obama has renewed his desperate push for Trade Promotion Authority legislation that would allow his administration to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade and investment treaties to Congress under a “fast track” process that would prohibit amendments and limit debate.   Since the TPP has been negotiated secretly with only 600 corporate lobbyists having full access, only the two sections dealing with the environment and with intellectual property, revealed through Wikileaks, are publicly available.  However, these are sufficient to demonstrate that the remaining draft provisions of the TPP are similar to the failed NAFTA model that privileged corporate rights over environmental and labor standards, and led to massive job losses and allowed large-scale environmental pollution.  Every major environmental, labor and open Internet access group has come out in opposition to Fast Track and to the TPP.  As the photo above indicates, over three million persons have signed an international petition against the TPP.

CWA President Larry Cohen, who has addressed Congressional committees on behalf of the entire coalition, reminds us that” “Trade agreements are not only about tariffs and quotas.  They are about the food we eat and the air we breathe, the jobs we hold. U.S. negotiators continue to lump together foreign policy and economic issues. That policy has a devastating effect on working families and communities. We cannot let foreign policy objectives trump domestic concerns and in the process unravel our own democracy.”

Even though corporate lobbyists led by the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have made passage of fast track and the TPP a top legislative priority, and expect support from both neoliberal Democratic and most Republican legislators, public opinion polls indicate that the majority of citizens reject “free trade” agreements that allow multinational corporations to circumvent domestic legislation and democratic rights.   Both Republican and Democratic legislators will have to weigh whether in this case their usual catering to the concerns of wealthy corporations will risk their own reelections.

For a fuller analysis posted earlier on this blog, see

http://www.dsausa.org/why_obama_and_big_business_want_fast_track_trade_legislation

Paul_2).jpg

 

 

Paul Garver is a retired international union organizer, co-editor of the Talking Union blog, and member of DSA's National Political Committee.

 

 

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. Democratic Left blog post submission guidelines can be found here.

 

 

 

 

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

May 25, 2017
· 38 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 48 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 93 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 26 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 11 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.