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Commentary: The fight against Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could become a historic victory for people against corporate power

"The British government is leading a gunpowder plot against democracy", 4 Nov 2014

On this day a year ago...Almost no one had heard of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US...I wrote about it for one reason: to be able to tell my children that I had not done nothing...The Stop TTIP petition now carries more than 750,000 signatures; the 38 Degrees petition has 910,000. Last month there were 450 protest actions across 24 member states. The commission was forced to hold a public consultation...Nothing has yet been won. Corporations and governments – led by the UK – are mobilising to thwart this uprising...It’s beginning to look as if the fight against TTIP could become a historic victory for people against corporate power. The central problem is what the negotiators call investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The treaty would allow corporations to sue governments before an arbitration panel composed of corporate lawyers, at which other people have no representation, and which is not subject to judicial review... TTIP, could be used to prevent UK governments from reversing the privatisation of the railways and the NHS, or from defending public health and the natural world against corporate greed... Unlike previous treaties, this one is being dragged by campaigners into the open, where its justifications shrivel on exposure to the light. There’s a tough struggle to come, and the outcome is by no means certain, but my sense is that we will win. [refers to Philip Morris, Occidental, Vattenfall]

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