On Saturday the 18th of April 2015, several thousand people took to the streets of Madrid in protest against TTIP. Reportedly over 200 organisations were represented in the 10,000 strong crowd and the situation was mirrored in 75 cities all over the world which included protest against CETA and TISA. The hashtag #18A marked the second global day of action since October the 11th last year.
Almudena Grandes, a writer for the Spanish broadsheet ‘El Pais’ addressed the rally in Puerto del Sol saying, “Today we have taken the streets to express our rejection of this new form of oppression. This treaty is merely way for multinationals to buy up our liberties. Increasingly world citizens rights are being eroded in the interests of big business”. She emphasised the work, health, environmental and social consequences of this secretive trade agreement being drawn up by Eurocrats and corporate lawyers.
“Based on a TTIP clause, companies may sue states if they think their interests have been harmed. All we want is a dignified and meaningful life. Across the world we send our solidarity.”
“TTIP is not a treaty, it is a coup,” concluded Rafeal Mayor, Civic Relations Secretary for Podemos.
Despite concerns over the newly passed ‘Ley Mordaza’ laws which restrict heavily the rights of people to openly protest, the march and rally passed off very peacfully with only a standard and passive police presence. Given the local elections coming up in May it could be that unrest in the streets is something to be avoided if the standing PP administration is to have any chance of holding onto their grip of the Comunidad.
Varios trade unions and political parties were in attendance on Saturday including the Anarchist CGT, The Communist Party, The Green Party, Friends of the Earth and various groups associated with 15M.
Ecologistas en Acción led the crowd with their catchy TTIP Rap which cleverly explains the key issues with this somewhat complicated and media unfriendly trade deal.