15 January 2015
War on Want has been handed four documents sent out by the government chief whip, Michael Gove MP, prior to today's parliamentary debate on TTIP, asking MPs to speak up against 'scaremongering' over the impacts of the secret EU-US deal. In reality, the concerns over TTIP are fully justified and - as we have shown before - the government's arguments are worthless. We attach here the documents as sent out yesterday by Michael Gove. The campaign against TTIP clearly has the government on the back foot, as they realise their attempts to hand over power to transnational corporations are being rejected by the UK public at every turn.
13 January 2015
European public rejects ISDS in EU consultation
The European Commission today faced condemnation for its decision to press ahead with a massive transfer of power to big business in the face of clear public opposition.
The assault comes as the EU reports the results of its public consultation on the inclusion of investor protection provisions, especially the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, within the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The Commission received a record 150,000 responses to the consultation, 99.62% from individuals and 52,008 from the UK.
In publishing the results of the consultation today, the EU admitted that the vast majority (over 97%) of respondents had opposed ISDS.
War on Want Executive Director, John Hilary, said: "The European Commission can no longer be in any doubt as to the strength of public feeling against this transfer of power to big business. Record numbers have said no to the prospect of corporate courts in Europe, yet the EU is still pressing ahead regardless. The TTIP negotiations should be abandoned rather than risk an end to our national democracy."
Hilary continued: "The UK government has a particular case to answer, in that it has led the group of 14 EU governments demanding to keep these new anti-democratic powers in TTIP. David Cameron and Vince Cable are selling us down the river, and they should be held to account."
The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism within TTIP has been identified as a direct threat to democracy, as it would grant transnational corporations the power to sue individual countries directly for losses suffered in their jurisdictions as a result of public policy decisions.
Corporations would be granted the power to challenge democratic decisions made by sovereign states, and to claim compensation where those decisions have an adverse impact on their profits.
In today's report on the consultation, the European Commission accepts: "The collective submissions reflect a wide-spread opposition to investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) in TTIP or in general."
The UK parliament will debate TTIP this coming Thursday, 15 January, in a backbench debate on the motion presented by Geraint Davies MP.
Notes to editors
CONTACT: War on Want media officer Ruth Tanner (44) (0)20 7324 5053 or (+44) (0)7983 550728
War on Want’s submission to the European Commission’s consultation on investor protection in TTIP can be read here.Add Comment
09 December 2014
Press release, Stop TTIP, Thursday 04/12/2014
Self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative against US and Canada trade deals tops a million signatures in record time
Media alert ***Photo stunt, Brussels*** Jean-Claude Juncker to receive a special birthday present for his 60th.
More than a million people across Europe have signed a self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative in the last two months opposing trade deals between the European Union and North America. The campaign, run by the Stop TTIP coalition, is supported by more than 320 civil society organisations, trade unions and consumer watchdogs from 24 EU Member States.
Campaigners say that the controversial trade deals, known as TTIP and CETA, would give unprecedented power to international corporations and thus threaten to overrule democracy, the rule of law as well as environmental and consumer protection. The treaties would allow governments to be sued by corporations before private arbitration boards if their laws or policies damage the company's profits.
John Hilary, a member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee commented: “Stop TTIP has collected more than a million signatures in record time. This is especially embarrassing for the European Commission as it has tried repeatedly to block any citizens’ involvement in the way these treaties are being negotiated and what the outcome should be. Jean Claude Juncker should listen to the growing opposition and stop both treaties immediately.”
In mid-July, the Stop TTIP coalition had applied to register a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) demanding that the European Commission stop the negotiations on TTIP and not to conclude CETA. According to EU rules, an ECI of more than a million signatures can force the European Commission to review a policy and hold a hearing in the European Parliament. However, in early September the European Commission refused to register the ECI, claiming that it was not admissible. Stop TTIP then went ahead with a self-organised version of the ECI and is also challenging the European Commission’s decision in the European Court of Justice.
Susan George, a member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee: “The European Union is desperately trying to stifle citizens’ involvement and prevent a critical debate from taking place about these trade deals. We don’t accept this. TTIP and CETA threaten democracy, labour rights, environmental standards and vital public services. Citizens want to have a say in this and they should! One million have already said “No, thanks!” How many more need to speak out before Brussels will listen?”
Stop TTIP announced it would intensify protests in the months to come. The signature collection will be continued and will be accompanied by creative actions and marches. The first of these will take place in Brussels on December 9th, the 60th birthday of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
John Hilary added: “We will deliver a special gift to Jean-Claude Juncker on his 60th birthday: A giant birthday card signed by one million Europeans. Politicians are always calling for citizens to get actively involved in European politics, and here are more than a million people who have done just that. On his 60th birthday, Juncker should blow out the candles on these massively unpopular and undemocratic trade deals that are opposed by people across Europe. One million signatures is just the beginning. We will continue our protest until TTIP and CETA are history.”
We cordially invite you to a photo stunt on Jean-Claude Juncker’s 60th birthday on 9 December 2014, 11am. Location: in front of “Le Barlaymont”, Rue de la Loi 200, 1000 Bruxelles (Brussels). Activists will prepare a birthday surprise party for President Juncker and symbolically present him one million + X signatures against TTIP and CETA. There will also be time for interviews.
More information about the Stop TTIP campaign: https://stop-ttip.org/about-the-eci-campaign/
Reaction to the European Commission’s refusal of the proposed European Citizens’ Initiative: http://stop-ttip.org/eu-commission-wants-to-wipe-out-citizens-involvement-in-ttip-and-ceta/
Free photos from Stop TTIP protests can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eci_ttip/
Press Team Stop TTIP, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel.: +49 30 420 823 79 (Germany), Mobil: +49 178 816 3017 (Germany). Please get in touch for questions about the campaign and to be put in contact with interviewees in various EU Member States.
Susan George, President of the Board of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam (TNI) and Honorary President of ATTAC-France, Tel: +33 1 4548 4801 (France)
John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, Tel: +44 7983 550727 (United Kingdom)Add Comment
10 November 2014
On Monday morning the Stop TTIP coalition, consisting of over 300 civil society groups from across Europe, are filing a lawsuit against the European Commission at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The lawsuit relates to a decision that was made by the Commission to block a ‘European Citizen’s Initiative’ (ECI) on the controversial EU-USA trade deal known as TTIP and a similar deal with Canada (CETA).Add Comment
09 October 2014
Many people will take to the streets around Britain on Saturday as the public speak out against the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in towns and cities across Europe.
The charity War on Want warns that TTIP would cost at least one million jobs between the EU and US and prevent any future UK government repealing the Health and Social Care Act and bringing the NHS back into public hands.
Campaigners from the charity will join a London demonstration, while many other anti-TTIP activists stage protests elsewhere in Britain, ranging far and wide, from Edinburgh north of the border to Brighton on England’s south coast.
Tens of thousands of people, with hundreds of organisations in 21 European countries, will oppose the deal.Add Comment
24 September 2014
Trade justice campaigners today branded any suggestion of a conclusion of EU-Canada trade negotiations a 'sham' and a 'PR stunt', as internal documents reveal outstanding disagreements between the European Commission and EU member states over controversial new powers for foreign investors.Add Comment
12 September 2014
NEWS PEG: Friday, 12 September 2014 London Fashion Week opens
Protesters today are taking action to mark the opening of London Fashion week with the message “Don’t mention the garment workers”.
Activists are highlighting an event which, they say, promotes the creativity of the UK’s fashion industry, but is silent over the millions of workers who produce clothes for high street chains, often working long hours on poverty pay in unsafe conditions.
The demonstration, organised by the anti-poverty charity War on Want, is taking place in view of London Fashion Week’s opening nearby at Somerset House.
Just before the catwalk shows begin, campaigners are sending the message to London Fashion Week “Don’t Mention The Garment Workers”.
War on Want senior campaigner Owen Espley said: “London Fashion Week is a glittering showcase for the fashion industry. But fashion’s dark side is kept in the shadows.
“The British Fashion Council would rather we all forget about those who often work long hours, on poverty pay, in unsafe conditions to produce the clothes we love.
“We can love fashion, but hate sweatshops and want a fashion week that lives up to its responsibility to all the workers who make the fashion we buy. The time has come for London Fashion Week to mention the garment workers.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
All major UK brands who are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative have signed a pledge to pay workers a living wage. None currently does so.
London Fashion Week is promoting itself as big business, stating that orders estimated at £100 million will be placed during the event. This is enough to pay a month’s wages for 2.4 million Bangladeshi garment workers who earn a mere £42 each month.
- The minimum wage for clothing factory staff in Bangladesh – where brands such as Primark and Next source clothes – is only £42 a month.
The protest comes only days after Primark’s parent company, Associated British Foods, announced over £600 million operating profit for the fashion chain in the year to 13 September.
It also follows hard on the heels of Next reporting £324 million profit in the six months to the end of July.
In addition, the demonstration will raise concerns over garment workers in developing countries toiling up to 14 hours a day, large numbers of them suffering physical and verbal abuse, besides living in slum housing.
War on Want media officer Paul Collins
(+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728Add Comment
11 September 2014
The European Commission has today rejected a proposal from an alliance of European campaigners to hold a European Citizens' Initiative against the EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals (known as TTIP and CETA). This decision prevents citizens from forcing the Commission to review its policy on the deals and to hold a hearing in the European parliament.
Negotiations on TTIP and CETA deal have provoked strong opposition across Europe, the US and Canada. Campaigners fear these treaties will give unprecedented power to multinational corporations, risking privatisation of public services and dilution of environmental standards and workers’ rights. To express this opposition, over 200 trade unions, social justice campaigns, human rights groups and consumer watchdogs applied for a European Citizens’ Initiative to force a re-think on the deals.Add Comment
12 August 2014
The world’s largest security company, G4S, today faces growing pressure to end complicity in Israel’s torture and ill-treatment of Palestinians, on the eve of the firm announcing its half-year figures.Add Comment
06 August 2014
David Cameron faces new pressure to stop weapons deals with Israel, as a charity supports activists who have shut down for a second day a UK factory exporting military drone engines to IsraelAdd Comment
04 August 2014
Royal Dutch Shell today faced heavy criticism that the UK-listed oil giant has turned its back on the victims of human rights and environmental abuse caused by the company, despite United Nations pressure for urgent remedial measures.Add Comment
09 July 2014
Foreign Secretary William Hague today faces accusations that Britain is allowing Israel to act with impunity and intensify its collective punishment measures against the Palestinian population.Add Comment
08 July 2014
National campaign opposes EU-US deal
A national campaign against clandestine economic negotiations between the European Union and the US opens today, amid warnings from activists of the biggest shift of power to transnational capital for a generation.Add Comment
25 June 2014
Campaigners are urging MPs to stop investment moves between the UK and Colombia that would let companies sue governments, with huge legal bills for taxpayers, and deter ministers from policies that serve public interests.Add Comment
21 May 2014
On the eve of the European Parliament elections, 120 campaign groups from across Europe have rejected the trade negotiations between the EU and the US as a threat to democracy, and have called on negotiators to radically rewrite the proposed agreement.Add Comment
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