On the 17th of September 2016, a coalition of 33 activist networks organized nationwide demonstrations across Germany under the banner “STOP CETA & TTIP” that were aimed against so called transnational free trade agreements such as TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).
According to the organizers these so called trade and investments partnerships pose not only a threat to the economy and environment, but are also attacks against the foundations of democracy in Europe, Canada and the United States. On the website of the organizers it states: “Let us STOP CETA & TTIP! We support fair trade and not free trade”.
Although the majority of Germans view these agreements with skepticism, establishment politicians favour them on the grounds that they will boost exports, economic growth and trade. The Social Democrats of Germany (SPD) led by Sigmar Gabriel have also voiced strong support for these agreements and hence there was a strong emphasis laid by organizers to influence the policy stance of the SPD.
Organizers estimate that an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 people took part to in these demonstrations.
acTVism Munich was present in both Berlin and Munich to provide on ground coverage.
The demonstrations reflected a broad spectrum of movements: From Activists, trade unions, farmers, nutritionist & food-watchers, media, digital & civil rights to environmental organizations.
According to police the nationwide demonstrations took place peacefully with no reports of violence.
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acTVism Munich plans to continue translating the event organized by the University of Arizona, “A Conversation to Privacy” that hosted Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky. We Munich believe that privacy is a central ingredient to democracy and creating awareness on it on a global scale is of utmost important for the future of human freedom and liberty. We will also continue to translate an event organized by the New York Public Library (NYPL) that hosted Yanis Varoufakis and Noam Chomsky. This event took place on the 26th of April, 2016, and focused, amongst other issues, on the state of European democracy; the underlying problems confronting it and the solutions required for meaningful change.
Secondly, acTVism Munich will gain full access to the German government’s national press conference in Berlin in the fall of 2016. This will provide us an opportunity to pose critical questions directly to the German government which will foster awareness on a host of issues seldom discussed in the mainstream media. The attempt is to translate and synchronize the question and answers in English as well.
We lack technical and financial resources to translate the events and press conference mentioned. Furthermore, we will only be able to attend the press conference once in 3 months due to the high costs of travelling and lodging.
Lastly, acTVism Munich received Edward Snowden’s confirmation about participating in a future event known as “Freedom & Democracy: Global Issues – Connecting the Dots”. This Event is planned for 15. January 2017 and plans to bring leading experts together to discuss the connections between various issues and reveal the system at work. We believe that we can only arrive at viable solutions by increasing public awareness of the principal and structural faults of our system.
We lack the necessary financial and technical resources to execute the projects, trips and events mentioned above. Since we are a non-profit and independent media outlet that has a strict policy against accepting advertisements, government or corporate support – we depend only on you, the public.