The Rock Against the TPP shows in Seattle and Portland this summer, organized locally by the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and Oregon Fair Trade Campaign in partnership with Fight for the Future and others, energized and inspired hundreds of committed Northwest activists who’ve been fighting the TPP, while bringing hundreds of new people into the trade justice movement.
“People are more willing to listen to a musician or a comedian or a poet because they appreciate other elements. They appreciate laughter, they appreciate the music, they appreciate how something is written,” explained comedian Hari Kondabolu. “So if you’re somebody who’s already on board, it’s inspiring, right? People say you’re preaching to the choir, but sometimes the choir needs that. And then for folks who aren’t in the movement, who don’t see a lot of this stuff, to be in that space and actually question themselves in a way that they’re not being yelled at is another way to get the message.”
“Artists have a very special place because we have a platform we can voice the struggle. We can voice the people that dedicate their lives to the struggle. We can voice the people that’s on the front lines,” hip hop legend Talib Kweli said during his performance.
The TPP would grants multinational corporations extraordinary new powers to threaten jobs and wages, the environment, affordable medicine, free speech, and food safety.
“As indigenous people, we’re kind of like the canaries in the coal mine. When there is environmental destruction, when there are corporations that are coming after our natural resources, as indigenous people we’re usually the ones on the front lines,” said Jeneda Benally of the Navajo punk band Sihasin.
Her brother, Clayson Benally, added, “When you give corporations total authority and power to change laws, that’s going too far. When they first come to strip away our rights, who’s next?”
“The TPP is a corporate protection agreement that increases the rights of corporations and supersedes existing laws in nations that bind themselves to the contract,” says Hawaiian slack-guitar artist Makana. “it basically gives corporations a free pass to do whatever they want.”
Learn more at: RockAgainstTheTPP.org.