TPP Talk @ Reclaim the Commons Free University-NYC

Posted by & filed under Teach-In, Workshop.

Date(s) - 07/20/2013
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


TPP Talk @ Reclaim the Commons Free University-NYC
  • DATE: Saturday, July 20th, 2013
  • TIME: 4-5PM (part of Reclaim the Commons Free University, which begins at 1PM and ends with a potluck dinner beginning at 5PM)
  • LOCATION: Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn. Myrtle Ave., De Kalb Ave. bet. Washington Park and St. Edward’s St. Use entrance at Dekalb and S Portland.
  • DIRECTIONS: Take the B, Q, or R trains to Dekalb Avenue. Walk south on Flatbush Avenue Extension until Dekalb Avenue and then make a left onto Dekalb. Make a left on South Portland Avenue into the park.
  • RSVP:
  • ADDITIONAL INFO: (pre-event only) Phone (718) 218-4523 Email:


Behind closed doors, US trade negotiators and representatives of the governments of 11 other countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international agreement that will erode the commons in the interest of corporate profits.

TPP Will:

  • enclose the digital commons with expanded and limit the free sharing of information on the internet
  • expand corporate patent rights on pharmaceuticals – preventing drugs from entering the public domain and being sold in the form of affordable generics
  • allow corporate banks to challenge the existence of public banks with rules restricting state owned enterprises
  • eliminate regulations that protect the land, air, and water we share from corporate polluters.

According to International Commons Conference organizer and blogger, Silke Helfrich:

“”The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty and its kin are a strategic and powerful enclosure movement that helps a few appropriating what belongs to many. Negotiations are usually kept secret, probably because the so called Free Trade Agreements promote anything but our freedom? This is the most fundamental reasons why so very diverse groups oppose them. They have been mis-rebaptized as “partnerships”. In fact, they are enclosure agreements.

We need to work together to develop a novel type of alliance among organizations specialized in trade-related issues, environmental and development organisations, Occupiers and digital commoners, social organizations and trade unions, indigenous people and geeks etc, to demand recognition for the thousands of alternatives that can be said to belong to the Commons Sector.
Using the awesome capabilities of new communication technologies to connect & collaborate, we can massively spread a strong message:

There is no need for more global competition, relentless resource extraction, greater market concentration, and more restrictive corporate (intellectual) property rights.

We can do better. We can put forward, promote and protect the Commons, a paradigm that consists of a huge variety of practical alternatives to free-trade principles.

If we look at the spirit of those agreements for the last 20 years, as embodied in the World Trade Organization, it remained the same. Beginning with NAFTA in 1994, all multilateral trade agreements have undermined and destroyed our commons in countless areas — seeds and farmland, human rights and democracy, nature conservation and culture, health (medicines) and public services. Let us build an international, light-weight, efficient communication network to convey a simple but powerful message from below.””

Join representatives of OWS TradeJustice to discuss how we can defend the commons and stop TPP!


On July 20, 2013, as part of our summer series, Free University-NYC welcomes one and all to learn and share how to “Reclaim the Commons.” The future of our diverse communities’ struggles are inextricably linked, as is our need for space to strategize together in person.

We invite you to contribute a workshop / lead a discussion about community justice projects, lessons from past struggles, and ideas for future victories.

Among the classes that will be offered:

  • How Does Housing Influence Gender Roles?
  • Food Justice & Food Sovereignty
  • Holding the NYPD Accountable: Community Organizing and People Power
  • The History of Crime & Punishment in America
  • Extreme Energy Extraction v. The Commons
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll: From Fossil Fuel Divestment to Reinvestment
  • Teach/learn at The Public School
  • Overtested and indebted: Critiquing and Imagining Education (Together)
  • Zine Workshop
  • Moving Freely
  • Parks: The Gateway Space
  • …And more!

Come join us in the park!

“The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city.” – David Harvey

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde

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