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

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 smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:02PM (#47042133) Homepage Journal
    Expecting government to be accountable to you, and stuff.
  • 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...

  • 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.


    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 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.

  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:2, Insightful)

    by funwithBSD ( 245349 ) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:56PM (#47042549)

    Well, I don't know what country he is talking about, but here in the good ol' US o' A, we have a Republic, not a Democracy.

    If we can keep it.

  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:58PM (#47042563)
    You and I have a vastly different idea of the democratic process.. I mean if we dont know whats in it, and cannot vote on it, then there is no democratic process involved.
  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:22PM (#47042709)

    The whole point of these trade agreements is to gain broad economic advantages instead of narrow special interests, protectionism, and subsidies. Opening up the negotiating process would allow all those vested interests and rent seekers to apply pressure to preserve their privileges, and end up sabotaging the process.

    You are hopelessly naive.

    In practice, these "trade agreements" (like SOPA, for a good example) have been notoriously wide open to special interests, but closed to the public. In fact, public interest groups (like EFF and others) ended up finding out about any of them because of leaks by industry, not the government.

    Whatever "the point" is, it most definitely has not been done that way.

  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Connie_Lingus ( 317691 ) on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:50PM (#47042857) Homepage

    I think the term you are looking for is "representative democracy", which may be either a republic or a monarchy.

    yeah...a "representative democracy" the way choosing Coke or Pepsi counts as selecting your favorite beverage.

    with the two-party stranglehold its neither a democracy nor representative.

  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday May 19, 2014 @09:09PM (#47042947)
    From your link:
    A republic is a form of government in which power resides in the people, and the government is ruled by elected leaders run according to law, rather than inherited or appointed

    Kim Jong Un replaced his father. Castro is expected to be succeeded by a family member without vote as well. Yet you listed both of those as "republics". I think "not monarchy" is too narrow. The power comes from the people (democracy), not divine (monarchies) or guns (dictatorships). Your definition would have violent dictatorships listed as "power by the people", which doesn't sound quite right. And Canada is tuled by elected leaders and run according to law. So again, your take disagrees with the statements within your cite.
  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Monday May 19, 2014 @10:09PM (#47043171)
    If you want to have broad economic advantages, you have a free trade agreement. A free trade agreement is simple. We let the people trade and we don't interfere. These agreements are to dangle the economic importance of free trade on a string to extort.
    Sure is a nice economy you have there. It would be a shame is suddenly everyone were to stop allowing your goods into our country. Why don't we have a nice talk over here about some changes you're going to love.
  • Re:Silly Peasants (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @03:48AM (#47044359) Homepage

    Now that is in fact a pretty accurate statement. The TTIP, TPP, SOPA et al pretty much where all not trade agreements but all pretty much conspiratorial corporate takeovers of the democratic process, basically, touching treason as they hard government representatives acting against the interests of the citizens in favour of multi-national corporations, 'er' persons (corporate bullshit thing) who are citizens of no country and owe allegiance to no nation.

    The fear the internet and what it is doing to re-democratise nations and are looking to lock in corporate autocracy. This prior to us putting justice back into the system and hanging those mother fuckers high, well, actually confiscation of illegally gained assets from gross tax and extreme evasion and applying appropriate imprisonment for many and varied corporate crimes.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly