250,000 People in Berlin Say No to Transatlantic Trade Agreements

October 14, 2015
Jennifer Baker

Berlin – Organizers estimate 250,000 attended the massive protest against the proposed trade agreements with North America, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.

More than 30 organizations – including trade unions, civil rights groups, Germany’s opposition Green and Left parties, opponents of globalization, cultural, religious and environmental organizations all supported the protest.

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, told the Guardian that the protest showed that the EU did not have a public mandate for the agreement: “Everything that we know about this secretive trade deal shows that it is very little about trade and very much about enshrining a massive corporate power-grab.”

Some of the many points of outrage for the proposed global trade agreements are allowing multinational corporations to sue nations over their existing laws and regulations before special tribunals, potentially eroding existing standards and that all negotiations and text of the trade deals have been kept secret from the public.

“Never before have we seen so many people take to the streets for this issue,” the German trade union confederation DGB, which helped organize the protest, said on Saturday.

“We are here because we do not want to leave the future to markets, but on the contrary, to save democracy,” said Michael Mueller, president of the ecological organization German Friends of Nature.

“What bothers me the most is that I don’t want all our consumer laws to be softened,” Oliver Zloty told Reuters TV. “And I don’t want to have a dictatorship by any companies.”

Raw video covers two and a half hours of rally footage.