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Image: muffinn via Flickr (CC BY).

The Brexit con: the exit Britain needs is from neoliberal capitalism

Pete Dolack

30th June 2016

The UK's exit from the EU won't deliver for the 'victims of globalisation' whose votes were decisive in the referendum result, writes Pete Dolack. All the economic scenarios advanced to date envisage more of the 'free trade' and neoliberalism that has global empowered capital against communities and the well-paid jobs that once sustained them. Plus ca change ... more...
Jeremy Corbyn speaking outside Parliament about human rights in Bahrain, 12th September 2013. Photo: YouTube / RevolutionBahrainMC via Wikimedia commons (CC BY).

Brexit? It's not over till it's over. And here's why it may never happen

Oliver Tickell

27th June 2016

Depressed at the Breferendum result? So you might be, if you are bothered by the environment, social justice and a successful economy, writes Oliver Tickell. But it may never come to that. In fact it's just possible that the Brexit vote could deliver us a reformed 'peoples' EU' that includes the UK, under a progressive government led by Jeremy Corbyn. Here's how. more...
'No to the privaTISAtion of the world!' - sign at a recent demonstration agianst TISA in Geneva. Photo: Annette Dubois via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

TISA 'free trade' deal to force draconian social, environmental, financial deregulation

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

17th June 2016

A leaked text from the 'Trade In Services Agreement' negotiations shows that TISA is set to unleash a massive wave of deregulation affecting social, environmental and financial standards, and force the privatisation of state-run enterprises, writes Pete Dolack. So it's not just TTIP, CETA and TPP we have to fight - TISA could be the biggest corporate power grab of them all. more...
At Thailand's famous, or infamous, Tiger Temple, 25th January 2011. Photo: Roel van Deursen - Spijkenisse / Nissewaard via Flickr (CC BY).

Good riddance to Thailand's infamous 'tiger temple'

Simon Evans, Anglia Ruskin University

6th June 2016

Thailand's 'tiger temple' was a front for the commercial exploitation of tiger bones, skins and other parts for the lucrative international trade, writes Simon Evans. It made no contribution to conservation and the animals were subject to extreme cruelty. But while the temple's closure is good news, there are hundreds of similar tiger farms across the region that are no better - or even worse. more...
Germans protest against the TTIP in Hannover on April 23 as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama confer. Photo: Bernd Schwabe in Hannover via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Goodbye to democracy if TTIP is passed

Pete Dolack

5th May 2016

The leaked chapters of the EU-US TTIP 'free trade' deal reveal a shredding of health, environmental and other protections for consumers and citizens, writes Pete Dolack. It's a wet dream for corporate monopolists and profiteers, and the elite bureaucrats that serve them. But for civil society it represents an irreversible destruction of democracy itself. more...
The TTIP Trojan Horse joins Green / EFA MEPs and hundreds of citizens from across Europe protesting against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY).

TTIP is on the rocks. Let's defeat these toxic trade deals!

Guy Taylor & Nick Dearden

4th May 2016

The TTIP EU-US trade deal has finally hit the rocks with massive popular opposition on both sides of the Atlantic gaining serious political traction, write Guy Taylor & Nick Dearden. There's now a good chance that TTIP will be defeated - but first we must make sure that CETA, the equally toxic EU-Canada 'Trojan Horse' deal, bites the dust. more...
Podiumsdiskussion #TTIPLEAKS by Greenpeace with Jürgen Knirsch, Stefan Krug and Volker Gassner, 2nd May 2016, Berlin. Photo: re:publica / Jan Zappner via Flickr (CC BY).

Leaked TTIP papers reveal 100% corporate sellout

Oliver Tickell

3rd May 2016

Secret documents leaked to Greenpeace from the EU-US TTIP negotiations show that environmental protection, climate change mitigation, consumer protection, public health and sustainability are sacrificed throughout to corporate profit and commercial interests. more...
Image of CRISPR / Cas9. Image: NHGRI. via ja.wikimedia.org (Public Domain).

New GMOs are 'not GM' - EU folds under US pressure

Oliver Tickell

21st April 2016

The EU Commission has caved in to US pressure in TTIP trade talks by deciding to consider organisms modified by new 'gene editing' techniques as non-GM - in violation of the EU's own laws. The move could make the 'new GMOs' exempt from labeling and from health and environmental testing. more...
CETA could act as a 'backdoor agreement' for US corporations even if TTIP fails - no wonder they are trying to push it through!  Demo against TTIP & CETA in Hamburg, February 2015. Photo: Foto: Chris Grodotzki / Campact via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

CETA Canada-EU 'free trade' deal could come into force without vote

Oliver Tickell

15th April 2016

The Stop TTIP coalition is warning that under a 'stealth clause' in CETA the trade deal could come into force without a single parliamentary vote - including its ISDS provisions allowing investors to sue governments in secret courts. US corporations would then be able to sue EU nations - even if TTIP fails. more...
At risk - Laguna Verde in Paramo Santurban, Colombia. Photo: Grupo Areas Protegidas CORPONOR via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Colombia: there's no place for clean water under 'free trade'

Pete Dolack

14th April 2016

The latest country to be hooked under 'free trade' agreements is Colombia, writes Pete Dolack, sued for tens of billions of dollars by US and Canadian gold mining companies for valuing its national parks and the high-altitude Andean wetlands that provide 70% of the nation's water above the profits of foreign corporations. Free trade or clean water? You can't have both. more...
Banggai Cardinalfish in their natural habitat. Photo: Fondation Franz Weber.

From coral reef to 'aquarium filler': the beauty of tropical fish is their doom

Monica Biondo / Fondation Franz Weber

15th April 2016

Gorgeous coral fish are to be seen everywhere, writes Monica Biondo, decorating aquariums in restaurants, doctors' offices and living rooms. The coral fish trade is booming! But it's destroying the reefs themselves, and driving many species to extinction. The Banggai Cardinalfish is among those unlikely to survive as this evil trade lays waste to them and their precious habitat. more...
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA)

Two minute hate? Trump, the enemy at the gates of US corporate power

John McMurtry

11th April 2016

There are many good reasons to criticise Donald Trump, writes John McMurtry. But none of these matter to the US media, political and corporate powers determined to keep him out of the White House. With his radical talk of halving military spending, controlling Big Pharma and exiting 'free trade' agreements, Trump is a direct threat to the parasite capitalism that's destroying America. more...

Trade: 1/25 of 271
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Breakfast at McDonalds in Maddur, Karnataka, India. Photo: Harsha K R via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

India: obesity, malnutrition and the globalisation of bad food

Colin Todhunter

4th April 2016

India's food system, essentially clean just a generation ago, has been comprehensively contaminated with sugar, bad fats, synthetic additives, GMOs and pesticides under the country's neoliberal 'great leap forwards', writes Colin Todhunter. The result? a surge in obesity, diabetes and cancer incidence, but no let-up in the under-nutrition of those too poor to join in the over-consumption. more...
Vegetable stall in the Old Havana market, Cuba. Photo: Guillaume Baviere via Flickr (CC BY).

Cuba's sustainable agriculture at risk in US diplomatic thaw

Miguel Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

1st April 2016

Among Cuba's greatest achievements is its organic farming sector, writes Miguel Altieri. Developed in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, small agroecological farms now employ 300,000 campesinos and provide an abundance of healthy fruit and vegetables. But now US food and agribusiness corporations are eyeing up a multi-billion dollar business opportunity. more...
An illegal clear-cut on steep-sided hills in Harghita County, just a small part of a much larger illegal clear-cut. Photo: Ecostorm.

Illegal loggers levelling Romania's Carpathian mountain forests

Katy Jenkyns

30th March 2016

Austrian timber giant Schweighofer claims to be working hard to ensure that the huge volumes of timber it buys from Romania's mountain forests are strictly legal, writes Katy Jenkyns. But an Ecostorm investigation has uncovered its purchase of illegally cut wood, its acceptance of fraudulent paperwork from suppliers, and the deep shadow of fear it casts over local communities. more...
Red chilis grown by a traditional small-scale farmer in Morocco. Photo: Ali JAFRI via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Resisting the corporate stranglehold on food and farming - is agroecology enough?

Colin Todhunter

4th March 2016

Agroecology is key to retaking control over food, farming and land from the 'monstrous machine' of agribusiness, biotech, big finance and 'free trade', writes Colin Todhunter, as it represents a truly viable alternative to agriculture for corporate profit. But such are the powers ranged against the world's small farmers that it must be supported by a broad-based, global people's movement. more...
A female solar engineer from Rajasthan, India - just one of many who could have benefitted from the work to create the National Solar Mission. Photo: Knut-Erik Helle via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

World Trade Organisation smashes India's solar panels industry

Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert

28th February 2016

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has found India's huge solar initiative 'guilty' of breaking trade rules, write Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert, because it gives domestic manufacturers a small 10% quota for the supply of panels, leaving up to 90% for foreign competitors. It's a warning for perils of the entire WTO system, and of even harsher trade rules like those in TPP, TTIP and CETA. more...
People power: more than 25,000 marched against TTIP and CETA in Berlin last month, 16th January 2016. Photo: Uwe Hiksch via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

TTIP talks resume today - but the wheels are wobbling!

Guy Taylor / Global Justice Now

22nd February 2016

As the twelfth round of negotiations over the EU-US TTIP mega-trade deal begins in Brussels today, the chances of a treaty being concluded are looking weaker than ever, writes Guy Taylor. Time is running out, complex legal issues are crowding in, and most important of all, public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic is turning against the massive 'bill of corporate rights' that TTIP represents. more...
Elected representatives are reduced to the status of the proverbial 'three monkeys' by security rules forbidding disclosure of TTIP texts. Photo: Len

Secret TTIP talks resume Monday as EU-US rifts deepen

The Ecologist

19th February 2016

EU and US resume their negotiations next week over the TTIP trade and investment deal. But deep rifts have emerged over the corporate courts in which investors can sue governments for any actions that reduce their profits. Meanwhile MPs are seething over their restricted access to draft texts and negotiating documents. more...
Dairy farmers protest in Brussels, October 2009. Photo: Teemu Mäntynen via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Dairy farmers' uprisings lead the way to a democratic world food system

David Miller

17th February 2016

The increasingly militant protests by dairy farmers against low prices forced on them by the corporate 'free market' represent serious and effective resistance against the 'free trade' agenda being forced on the world by neoliberal governments, writes David Miller. They are the first steps to building a new global food system that respects food, people, culture and environment. more...
Maude Barlow at the Peoples Social Forum 2014. Photo: Ben Powless / Peoples Social Forum via Flickr (CC BY).

Maude Barlow: combating CETA, TTIP's scary Canadian cousin

Nick Dearden / Global Justice Now

29th April 2016

Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council for Canadians, has dedicated her life to fighting injustice, and so-called 'free trade' deals in particular. In this interview with Nick Dearden, Maude explained how CETA, the Canada-EU trade and investment agreement, is every bit as dangerous as TTIP, but has somehow escaped the same level of media and campaign focus - and what we can do about it. more...
It may not always feel that way, but the UK's European partners are constantly holding the UK's right wing political establishment in check. Photo: Paul Shaw / Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

If you think it's bad inside the EU, think again

Caroline Lucas

9th February 2016

A British exit from the EU wouldn't liberate us from the extreme neoliberalism epitomised by TTIP, writes Caroline Lucas. On the contrary, UK governments have been the strongest drivers of the EU's 'free trade', pro-corporate agenda. Despite all the EU's faults - and they are many - it is protecting us from much, much worse. more...
The TPP is none too popular in New Zealand, where trade ministers are signing it today, either. No TPPA! march in Wellington, NZ, 31st March 2014. Photo: Peg Hunter via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Promises be damned: TPP 'benefits' are strictly for the corporations

Pete Dolack

4th February 2016

Boosters of 'free trade' agreements - like the Trans Pacific Partnership that's being signed today - like to make big promises, writes Pete Dolack: trillions of dollars of economic gains, billions of dollars of investment, millions of new jobs. But there's only one certainty, and it's one they never mention: the permanent redistribution of power and income from working people to capital. more...
With this lot behind TPP, what's not to trust? US Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a meeting with national leaders in Bali, Indonesia, 8th October 2013. Photo: William Ng / State Department (Public Domain).

Never mind today's signing charade: TPP is heading for the rocks

Sam Cossar-Gilbert / FOEI

4th February 2016

Trade ministers will sign the Trans Pacific Partnership 'free trade' deal today, writes Sam Cossar-Gilbert. But don't be fooled by the razzmatazz. Resistance to the agreement is growing fast, and the more people find out about it and its devastating impact on jobs, health, human rights and environment, the less they like it. more...
In Germany, it's not just flashmob protestors opposing TTIP. The German Judges Association is in on the act now too. Photo: campact vius Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

'No legal basis' for TTIP corporate courts, say German judges

Nick Dearden

3rd February 2016

Germany's association of judges and magistrates has condemned the EU's plan to create a special court for investors and corporations to sue national governments, writes Nick Dearden. The proposed new court would: have no legal basis; supplant the sovereignty of member states; and usurp the role of national courts. The chances of TTIP and CETA ever being agreed just took a big step back. more...

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