Yesterday the 38 Degrees action day against the Treaty in Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) took place. The first aim of this campaign is to raise public awareness of this treaty, whilst secret negotiations take place between the US and EU.
It is important to point out that this is not a campaign to bash the EU per se, because if we left the EU, I have no doubt that the UK independently would want to sign up to this treaty. The EU does need reform to put people’s needs before those of corporate businesses, but that is not what the Prime Minister, David Cameron means when he says he wants reform of the EU. The reforms he wants to see are to employment protection laws and immigration, he is quite happy with the ‘free trade’ agenda of the EU.
With an almost total mainstream media black-out on this issue, the effort needs to begin with making the public aware of this fundamentally anti-democratic treaty where private corporations can sue elected governments whose policies restrict business from extracting profits out of our hitherto public services, like the NHS. Decisions are made outside of existing legal processes and nations will have no counter right to sue corporations.
So the point of yesterday’s action day, was primarily to inform the public about what is going on and how this will affect them.
Over 9000 supporters of the campaign in over 600 locations around the country went out into our towns, cities and villages to talk about TTIP. We handed out over a million leaflets, put over 30,000 posters in our windows, and spoke to thousands of people about this dangerous trade deal.
In my local area of London, (Hornsey and Wood Green Parliamentary constituency) there were several meeting up points for handing out leaflets to the public and many houses were leafleted, meaning some contact was made with thousands of residents.
One activist who took part in the action day said “It felt good to flyer today in Crouch End...my first initiation into handing out flyers. I was impressed by the response from 'the public'. I also letter box dropped Harvey Road, N8”
It’s not just about the numbers: 38 Degrees supporters united together behind a love for our NHS and a belief that ordinary people’s voices should be heard louder than those of corporate lobbyists.
Find out more about the 38 Degrees campaign here.