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Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt? 142

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-of-them-looked-at-me-weird dept.
Glyn Moody (946055) writes "The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), potentially the world's biggest trade agreement, has been negotiated behind closed doors for nearly a year now. Apart from what we learn from a few official releases — and an increasing number of leaks — we still don't really know what is being agreed in the name of 800 million people in the U.S. and EU. When a peaceful anti-TTIP protest was held outside yet another closed-doors meeting in Belgium, the local police sent in the water cannons and arrested nearly 300 people in what seems an extreme over-reaction. Will TTIP turn into the next ACTA revolt?"
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Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

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  • Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:02PM (#47042133) Homepage Journal
    Expecting government to be accountable to you, and stuff.
    • We need a few more of 1789, too...

      They feed you bullshit about "reign of terror"...

      What of the terror that lasted under these estates, from late Roman times, through the so called "Enlightenment"?

      • I daresay were headed toward re-living it.
      • by schnell (163007)

        Why the over-reaction? Ooh, we have a treaty that has been negotiated in secret for a year. Of course, it tends to ignore that 1.) ALL treaties are negotiated in secret, and 2.) treaties do not take force in the United States unless voted on and ratified by the US Senate, which will certainly take every opportunity to publicly expose and fight over every last detail. Never mind, that's enough reason to have a revolution!

        Read up sometime on the spirit of 1789 and how it resulted in the deaths of tens of thou

    • Amateur stuff man. For real "professional" style, you'd say these protesters were "violent."

      What's that? They weren't actually violent? LOL. You should have paid people to walk into the crowd with masks on who would then start throwing rocks at windows. No professional journalist is going to question use of force against (shudder) ROCK THROWERS!

      Wait, back up, I'm sorry. Nevermind about the agent provokateurs. Just say they were violent. No professional journalist is going to question...
  • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:06PM (#47042153)

    The law in Belgium states that it is illegal to hold public protests without authorisation from the municipality.

    The video on this site, shows the round-up, and it seems, VERY VERY controlled and peaceful on both sides.
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ttip-... [ibtimes.co.uk]

    Nice people, the Belgish...

    • by tomhath (637240)

      I like what's printed on the back of their jackets "Police Politie". I take that to mean polite policeman :^)

      But yea, forming a human chain in front of the building got the protesters arrested.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        I see the smiley, but in case someone else misses it -- it's just their bilingual logo.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

      • by WoOS (28173)

        Actually it is Dutch and means Police [google.com]. Belgium is half french-speaking half dutch-speaking.

        • by Pax681 (1002592)
          what about the Flemish?? they don'tt speak Dutch of French.. well they can but Flemish is a language in it's own right
          • Yeah. And Nedderdüütsch.

          • by Zombie (8332)
            Wow, you guys could have googled that.

            The Flemish, who make up 60% of the population (not 50% as grandparent claims), speak Dutch. The existence of local variants in the language are no basis for a claim that there a multiple languages. Otherwise you'd have very few English speakers in the world.

            Belgium is a trilingual country; there is a small population of German speakers.

            Brussels is a bilingual region. It is geographically located in the Dutch-speaking Flanders, historically Flemish and Dutch speaking

            • by Pax681 (1002592)

              Wow, you guys could have googled that.

              The Flemish, who make up 60% of the population (not 50% as grandparent claims), speak Dutch. The existence of local variants in the language are no basis for a claim that there a multiple languages. Otherwise you'd have very few English speakers in the world.

              Belgium is a trilingual country; there is a small population of German speakers.

              Brussels is a bilingual region. It is geographically located in the Dutch-speaking Flanders, historically Flemish and Dutch speaking, but currently more an international city.

              tell that to the Vlaams and see how long your balls last...LOL

              • You mean the "Vlamingen"?

                To be fair, though, I like the Flemish dialect more than standard Dutch. More refined.

                • by Pax681 (1002592)
                  well i am Scottish and have encountered the Vlamms speakers at independence rallies and they were very ,very keen to point out they speak their own,recognised language which was NOT Dutch......lol
                  • And I am a native Dutch speaker, and while (West) Flemish has its own ISO language code, they're really Dutch dialects and they are much more intelligible to me (and most Dutch) than West Frisian. West Frisian, now that is a language in its own right, even though it's spoken in Friesland, a Dutch province.

              • by Zombie (8332)

                tell that to the Vlaams and see how long your balls last...LOL

                By "the Vlaams" I assume you mean "the Flemish" or "Vlamingen." I am one, so; fail.

                Also, we are not a violent people.

                • by Pax681 (1002592)
                  well you take that up with the Vlamms people that came to attend the independence rally here last year sonny me laddo :)

                  They were very groovy people and outspoken in many Flemish issues

                  As for not being violent... i do think you DELIBERATELY miss the point of what i was saying and thus ... you are quite a dick..LOL

                  dicks like you are why UKIP are on the rise.. yeah.. YOU LOL
            • by GNious (953874)

              Belgium, the state, is mono-lingual - I've yet to get ANYTHING (even on request) from the state, national rail, phone-companies, hospitals or much of anyone else in anything but French.

              Heck, even the local hospital here in Brussels have everything in French, with a few (random?) signs also duplicated in Dutch and in smaller letters.

              I even tried to sign up for things specifically in Flanderen - when stuff then gets sent to me in Brussels, it is in French.

              • by Zombie (8332)
                Belgium, the state, has three official languages. See what you're presented with on the federal government's official portal: fgov.be [belgium.be].

                The Brussels region, and its Flemish suburbs, hosts a lot of belligerently anti-Flemish French speakers. You have to go through a lot of hassle, and can be submitted to a lot of abuse, if you want to be addressed in anything else than French. This is, though, a flagrant violation of language laws.

    • Sprouts or Phlegms.

    • by WoOS (28173) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:25PM (#47042277)

      Yes, if you look at the first video on http://www.ttip2014.eu/blog-de... [ttip2014.eu] around 0:20 you will see in the background a protestor holding out his hand to get it tight. Looks to me extremely civilized from both side. I don't see any overreaction. And if - possibly - the protest was unauthorized, participants might be offered a trip to the next police station for IDing. Civil disobidience has its price.

      And now before the US side claims that there is no freedom in Europe if protests need to be authorized: If authorization is denied, you can sue against it on a quick track. That's the reason why even the extreme right, which most people would like to deny protesting rights, can do it again and again.

      So TTIP might be bad and all but exagerating things just to prolong the attention (Protest was already last Thursday) is not the way to go.

      • Even in the US protests have some constraints. Not on private property, no disruption of over people, etc.

        The right to protest is in our constitution, but it is a right whether a government supports it or not. It's simply that some governments punish protestors more vigorously than others. We all remember pepper spray cop, even here where protesting is "allowed".

        • And you can't murder anyone.

          Oh wait, that's already illegal. As is mucking about on other people's property and a bunch of other actions that are generally dickish in nature.

          It's like we don't need special rules about what is and is not a "protest" because it shouldn't fucking matter and the "free speech zone" includes all of the USA.

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          Even in the US protests have some constraints. Not on private property, no disruption of over people, etc.

          Only in "free speech" zones, and all that. There's nothing "illegal" about having a protest on private property. The difference is that on private property, the owner can request you leave. But nothing that prevents you from holding a protest on your own private property or someone else's with permission (or even without permission, in some cases). But the government is working on banning protests, especially in areas where it's inconvenient.

        • I seem to remember "Protest zones" in the USA.
        • by Calydor (739835)

          no disruption of over people

          Was that an intended typo or a Freudian slip?

    • by X.25 (255792)

      The law in Belgium states that it is illegal to hold public protests without authorisation from the municipality.

      I guess introducing a law that requires citizens to jump off the bridges would sort that all out.

      After all, laws should not be questioned or disobeyed. Ever. Because they are there to protect you.

      • by abies (607076)

        Yes, they are. You can complain only if protests are forbidden routinely regardless of request for authorization - but it is not happening, absolute majority of protests is allowed.
        Rules for registration make perfect sense - quite often, you have two antagonist groups protesting (pro-gay and ultra-right-wing for example) on same day in same city. Thanks to authorization, city can make sure they will remain separate and put extra police in places they might meet.

        Now, in some imaginary Europe where you would

  • The Secrecy Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:07PM (#47042157)

    has been negotiated behind closed doors for nearly a year now

    There is no excuse for the closed door policy. This is an agreement that could affect hundreds of millions of people, but they're not allowed to know what's going on? It'll be dumped in a "take it or leave it" form. Congress and parliaments openly debate bills, why the secrecy here? Because they're afraid that people will object to certain provisions? Good. It's the right of people to know how agreements that will affect them are being negotiated. Would that make the agreemnet impossible to agree on? Tough, that'll be because it's an agreement people don't want. Try again. Sorry if the democracy stuff makes your lives harder.

    • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:20PM (#47042245)

      Numerous Senate and Congressional meetings occur behind closed doors.

      We're hardly fully transparent.

      Translucent on a good day...

      • Yes indeed.

        And the fact that Western power brokers allow their respective populaces the illusion of choice (suffrage),

        encourages me that they don't believe they can just take what they want. Yet.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Numerous Senate and Congressional meetings don't revolve around the principles of exporting the most hated parts of the US legal system to the rest of the world.

      • It would be nice if some government somewhere would for once in human history err on the side of too much transparency as policy. Maybe, getting really crazy, we as a people could demand that all government meetings always be open within a year no matter what. Sure, it would cause problems, but the other way does too, and frankly I'm sick and tired of those problems.
    • not familiar with EU policy: Do the member states have to ratify stuff like this through direct popular vote? Or is it like the US where our elected keepers will push it through without any regards to public opinion or the best interests of their constituents?

      • Time was when Ireland and a handfull of other countries did have to ratify some stuff by popular vote, but Ireland recently gave away that right. 2 or 3 times Ireland voted no on various steps towards the European superstate but the local politicians just re-ran the election when they didn't get the answer they wanted. See Nice Treaty, Lisbon Treaty
        • by sconeu (64226)

          See Nice Treaty, Lisbon Treaty

          See also the Not-So-Nice treaty.

        • No Ireland still gets to vote on issues which would amend the Irish constitution, that continues to remain in force and was mostly the reason we got a vote on these treaties in the first place as I recall. The politicians can agree to whatever they want but if it means changing a word of Bunreacht na hEireann they have to run it by the people first. Which while awesome is mostly used by the population to strategically force the politicians to get a better deal rather than specifically opting out of European

    • by jklovanc (1603149) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:27PM (#47042297)

      Congress and parliaments openly debate bills,

      Only after they have gone through committees and had a lot of "behind closed doors" discussions. This agreement will be debated by every government that needs to enact it.

      It'll be dumped in a "take it or leave it" form.

      There is a third option; send it back for revision.

      why the secrecy here?

      Do you really think is is a good idea for every proposal or wording to be debated in the open? Most of these idea/proposals will not make it into the final draft yet having to publicly defend them will just distract from the work at hand.

      Because they're afraid that people will object to certain provisions that never get into the final draft.

      FTFY

      The problem with public review of every proposal is that it stifles creativity. Try having a creative discussion when every proposal must be perfect before it is presented. It does not work.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:31PM (#47042335)

        The problem with public review of every proposal is that it stifles creativity.

        I'm 100% okay with stifling the "creativity" of these government thugs. 99% of the time they're trying to take away our rights; their "creativity" won't be missed.

        Though, your statement is a load of bullshit to begin with. Public debate can and should be part of the process. Always. That's what it means to live in a free & open society. Do you honestly think it's okay for these scumbags to be debating legislation behind closed doors, getting bribed by industry assholes, and for people to have no real idea what's happening? I don't.

      • by mspohr (589790)

        Congress and parliaments openly debate bills,

        Only after they have gone through committees and had a lot of "behind closed doors" discussions. This agreement will be debated by every government that needs to enact it.

        Debated as a take it or leave it proposition. No real debate. No chance to change it.

        It'll be dumped in a "take it or leave it" form.

        There is a third option; send it back for revision.

        No option to send it back. This is a truly "take it or leave it" question.

        why the secrecy here?

        Do you really think is is a good idea for every proposal or wording to be debated in the open? Most of these idea/proposals will not make it into the final draft yet having to publicly defend them will just distract from the work at hand.

        Because the peasants might have objections and the peasants are always a distraction.
        Corporations, OTOH, have the inside track to get their proposals in place without distraction.

        Because they're afraid that people will object to certain provisions that never get into the final draft.

        FTFY

        The problem with public review of every proposal is that it stifles creativity. Try having a creative discussion when every proposal must be perfect before it is presented. It does not work.

        Yes, it's certainly much more "creative" to just have the corporations and bureaucrats write the agreement.
        Those peasants are too creative and just gum up the works.

      • by careysub (976506)

        ...

        Do you really think is is a good idea for every proposal or wording to be debated in the open?

        Absolutely.

        Most of these idea/proposals will not make it into the final draft yet having to publicly defend them will just distract from the work at hand.

        First off - it is not a given that "the work at hand" even needs to be done. The fact that corporations and other power brokers want these agreements does not mean that they are "needed" by citizens of the affected nations at large, or the world in general.

        Second - the need to publicly defend proposals is a good thing, not a "distraction". Every stake-holder should have the ability to see and comment on the draft as it is developed. But only select government "representatives" and corporations a

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      There is no excuse for the closed door policy. This is an agreement that could affect hundreds of millions of people, but they're not allowed to know what's going on?

      I've long come to the conclusion that any law/treaty/etc that's discussed in closed door locations should probably be ignored by the population at large. After all, it's not being discussed in the spirit of a free and open society, why should society pay heed to such a law.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because this is how you git hitlers to rise to power.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, Hitler got to power because the US was funding nazis.

      Oh wait..

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:29PM (#47042315)
    We try to have these other governments over, and you goddamn kids can't act right for even one night.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    an increasing number of leaks indeed.

  • Isn't it obvious? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:43PM (#47042431)

    USA media companies want to make copyright infringement an extraditable offence in all the signing countries, so they don't have to go through the pain they're having with Kim Dotcom.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:44PM (#47042441)

    I didn't even know what it's called in English! known as "Grand Marché Transatlantique" here. But we vaguely know what's coming, mainly that big corporations will be allowed to sue sovereign states so that they can overrule the rule of law.. which is ridiculous, but we should know we can't write off things because they sound so stupid and ridiculous and "they'd never dare do that".

    I'm sure a lot of media bickering will be done regarding what hormones can be in food or such and such old issues. About the only real piece of news was about one year ago when France "stood up" to the Man and got Culture exempted - i.e. books, television, movies etc. Like accepting the rest does not matter! All that France, EU, US have won is there will be less opposition from celebrities, writers, artists etc.

    But as I said it's not what we have to care about. "Officially" that TTIP is set to come online by 2015. For all I care it's the date that European Union will become a dictatorship. I didn't thought that would come so early.
    Of note is that European elections (for the "parliament") are this Sunday, so be sure to show up at the vote! DON'T vote for a party that supports that thing (even if simply by omission), or is actively "negociating" it while never communicating about it at all. Don't vote for a mainstream "socialist" party, they're selling themselves and selling you to oligarchical interests. e.g. maybe it's a better idea to vote "Die Linke" than "SPD".
    If you don't want to vote left-wing please vote for a right-wing non-nazi party or list that say negative stuff about the treaty or Europe in general.

  • all your anti-government rants are probably being recorded by the NSA.

    Being that said, there is one golden rule in any political duel:

    The enemy of your enemy is ALWAYS your fiend

  • by skribe (26534) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @06:11AM (#47044767) Homepage
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
  • A protest needs "permission" to happen? this is a joke?
  • The US press has almost no coverage of any of these protests. They have been turned into a lapdog of industry.

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