For the past hours thirty Greenpeace activists from seven countries have blocked the entrances to the Brussels building where EU and US negotiators were due to hold secret talks for a trade deal that would give multinational corporations unprecedented power.
Thirty activists from seven countries chained themselves at the entrances of a conference centre where the meeting was due to take place. Some activists climbed the front of the building to deploy a large banner depicting a ‘dead-end’ road sign that read: “TTIP: dead end trade deal”.
Negotiators from the European Commission and the US trade department were due to begin a five day-long round of talks on controversial plans to allow foreign investors to challenge rules and laws that protect people and nature, including on food, chemical pollution and energy.
As a result, the talks have been delayed. In the past hour one side entrance has been opened, and some negotiators have been able to enter the building escorted by police.
However, the activists are still in place and the protest continues.
The activists used wooden and metal barriers to block the entrances, while climbers unfurled a banner depicting a ‘dead-end’ road sign that read: “TTIP: dead end trade deal”.
The protesters warned that TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement – is a threat for democracy, environmental protection, healthcare standards, and working conditions.
Negotiators were today due to start a five-day long round of talks on controversial plans to allow foreign investors to challenge rules and laws that protect people and nature, including on food, chemical pollution and energy. The scheme favoured by the Commission – known as Investor Court System (ICS) – would give a new court jurisdiction over democratic states to defend the interests of multinational corporations.
Concern about TTIP is growing and involves a wide spectrum of society, including NGOs, the health sector and businesses. Greenpeace is giving a voice to the millions of Europeans who have signed petitions and taken to the streets in defence of EU standards on food safety, toxic chemicals, healthcare and workers’ rights.