by Zain Raza
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 of the demonstration, these so-called trade and investments partnerships pose not only a threat to the economy and environment, but are 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 is critical towards these agreements, establishment politicians favor them on the grounds that they will boost exports, economic growth and trade. The Social Democrats of Germany (SPD) led by Sigmar Gabriel are also in favor of these agreement, in particular CETA, and hence there was a strong focus of the organizers to influence the policy stance of the SPD.
Organizers estimate that upwards of 300,000 to 350,000 people took part in these demonstrations.
acTVism Munich was present in both Berlin and Munich to provide on-ground coverage.
he demonstrations reflected a broad spectrum of movements: Activists, trade unions, farmers, nutrition, media, digital rights, civil rights, environmental organizations.
According to police the entire demonstration took place peacefully with no reports of violence.
Source: Activist Post, Sept 18, 2016