In the spirit of getting in touch with what is happening in my new hometown of Windsor Ontario, I am participating in a protest action Monday, August 20, 2007 on the approach to the Ambassador Bridge.
There are many reasons to resist this corporate sneak attack. Human rights, especially in Mexico are threatened, and the process is under a cloak of secrecy. Those are reasons enough. The mainstream media appear to be complicit because they refuse to cover this story which is at least as significant as NAFTA.
Amnesty International has a campaign running to urge the three leaders to do all they can to protect human rights. Personally, while this is an important thing to do, the deal must simply be scrapped. If implemented over time we will live in a North American economic fortress, not a participatory democracy. As a budding socialist, I can see the day when working people will have to wake up, rise up and start occupying manufacturing plants and forming cooperatives.
For more information please check these links out:
Good analysis of Canadian media response:
PUBLIC TRUST ABHORS A VACUUM
by Daniel Casey
August 20, 2007
The media’s coverage of the secretive Montebello summit calls to mind an Irish cop in an old movie: After having insisted that there’s nothing to see here, they now start telling us to move along. CTV News, the Globe, the Star, the Post, La Presse and the Citizen all go inside with their patient explanations of why a framework for tighter continental integration is good for us even if we don’t know what’s in it. Only La Presse and the Citizen put even the briefest of mentions of the summit or the protests on their front pages, a tiny box with a generic photo of demonstrators in each. Demonstrators on Parliament Hill—one to two thousand of them, according to the Post, a flat two thousand in the Star, and a mere “several hundred” in the Globe’s estimate—gathered to oppose the talks, which were never formally approved by any of the three national legislatures, and to oppose the exclusion of any outside representatives other than a hand-picked committee of chief executives.
The Citizen pulls off a trifecta of dismissal: a story about how boring the talks are, how so little of any consequence will be discussed there, accompanied by an interview with Canadian Chamber of Commerce head Perrin Beatty smugly opining that “protesters believe in a zero-sum game” in defiance of the iron-clad law of comparative advantage, and followed by a dry account of the protest itself. To cap it all off, there’s a piece from US ambassador David Wilkins on the editorial page, advising us to leave our leaders to their folksy tête-á-têtes, because “that’s what diplomacy is all about.” A conservative estimate would put the ratio of opinion to news content addressing the summit in today’s Citizen at five to one, which oversells the point to the extent that the paper loses credibility. When put together, Harper’s penchant for secrecy, the security bubble around a widely unpopular US president, and the divided Mexican electorate that voted in Felipe Calderon in a questionable poll last year, are all combining with the visible unpopularity of the continental-integration agenda to create a vacuum of information about the “Security and Prosperity Partnership.” When Harper came into power and changed press briefing rules, the media were up in arms for weeks. Now they see a vacuum about a much more consequential policy issue and fill it with reassurance; were it that the media was as concerned with our collective access to information as they are with their own.