• #noTTIP Train Departure: Tuesday February 3, 7.30–8.15am
Location: Eurostar Departure Gate, St Pancras Station, London
• #noTTIP protest: Wednesday February 4, 10.30–11.30
Location: Rue de la Loi, Schuman roundabout, Brussels
On Tuesday 3rd of February 100 people from across the UK and different walks of life will be travelling together to Brussels on the Eurostar to protest at the next round of negotiations of the controversial trade deal being pushed by the EU and the USA – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Over the course of two days, the #noTTIP delegation will lobby their MEPs, take part in a demonstration at the European Commission, network with other campaigners and activists from across Europe and take part in a corporate lobby tour of Brussels.
Guy Taylor, the trade campaigner for Global Justice Now and the #NoTTIP train organiser said:
"It's unheard of to see so many people travelling to Brussels to lobby their MEPs like this, and that's testament to just how hugely controversial and unpopular TTIP has become. David Cameron waxes lyrical about national sovereignty, but in pushing for this deal he is wilfully handing sovereignty to big business. The deal is not really about trade, it's about entrenching the position of the one percent. It should be abandoned."
The 100 people who are taking the train to Brussels are coming from all over the UK and from different walks of life, including members of groups such as UNISON North West, War On Want and 38 Degrees. Many of them are travelling with particular concerns around TTIP including:
- Members of local fracking campaigns concerned about TTIP increasing the likelihood of fracking in the UK.
- A computer professional who is concerned about TTIP's harmful effects on data rights.
- A local councillor who is worried about TTIP's impacts on local procurement.
- Student Aids campaigners who fear TTIP's effects on the availability of HIV medication.
- People concerned about TTIP's impacts on agriculture and food standards.
- Members of the trade union, UNISON, concerned about attacks on workers rights and the privatisation of the NHS and other public services.
TTIP is proving to be the most controversial pieces of legislation that the European Commission has ever tried to implement. Critics have argued that the trade deal would damage the NHS, put other public services at risk of privatisation and give unprecedented power to international corporations. The treaty would allow governments to be sued by corporations if their laws or policies damaged the company's profits.
The #noTTIP train to Brussels has been organised by Global Justice Now, a campaigning organisation based in London that has been part of a Europe-wide coalition of NGOs, trade unions and activist groups who are opposing the trade deal. In January 2015 the European Commission published the results of a public consultation on TTIP in which 97% of the responses were opposed to the deal.