As part of the global days of action against the new World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial, thousands of people from across the Pacific Northwest converged in downtown Portland on December 5th to speak out against the proposed expansion of failed “free trade” policies within the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign led a coalition of more than 75 labor, environmental, immigrant rights, faith and social justice groups in organizing the mass march and rally.
That week, the WTO held its largest negotiations on international trade and investment in many years in Geneva, Switzerland. On their agenda was the expansion of trade pacts that would:
- Cause further offshoring of Oregon jobs
- Prohibit new banking regulations designed to prevent the next financial crisis
- Force global warming policies to conform with restrictive commercial agreements
- Expand agricultural practices that push small farmers off their land and force migration
- Require countries to accept imported foods and consumer goods that fail to meet local safety standards
Thank you to everyone who made the “D5” demonstration such a powerful event!
Thanks to the hard work of fair trade activists around the globe, the WTO negotiations in Geneva didn’t make much progress. Unfortunately, the same corporate interests behind the WTO are trying to advance their agenda through regional and bilateral trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the South Korea Free Trade Agreement.
Photos courtesy of Jerry Atkin, Pete Shaw and Bette Lee, respectively.