The Rise of the Green Activist – the New Australian Hero

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photo (c) Des Pensable    –  the New Australian green activist comes in all ages from all parts of our society.

tags Environmental Activism, ‪#‎BentleyBlockade‬, #leardblockade, Greenpeace Australia, politics, society.

By Des Pensable

Australian men and women were represented at all the major wars across the globe last century in support of our British and American allies fighting for freedom and democracy. Many lost their lives to defend their friends, their families, our country and our “fair go for all” way of life. We cherish their memories and sing their praises as heroes of this great land.

Another world war has started. This war will be the war to end all wars because if we lose the war it is a good bet that most life on Earth will perish. If we win it will likely mean significant changes in our society and our way of life.  The war is about Global Warming.

In past centuries wars were often fought over land or other resources. The current war is no different but the combatants are different. They are not so much countries or ethnic groups but the shadowy manipulators and controllers hiding out of sight behind corporate logos. The new war is with the world’s super wealthy elite called Plutarchs and oligarchs, the robber barons of the modern world that own the banks and multinational companies. The war is for the control and exploitation of the world’s resources and you and I are already a part of the war.

These robber barons don’t fight with soldiers but with platoons of specialists. They surround themselves with silver tongued business men, tacky lawyers and robotic accountants. They have mottos like “greed is good” and “might is right”. They have no morals or empathy for any living creature be it human, animal or plant. They consider themselves above normal humans, they believe they are the top of the food chain, the alpha wolves and they have a divine right to have anything they want.  They are also adept at using, force, corruption, deception and coercion to get it.

The world population of over 7 billion people is using the world’s resources at an ever increasing rate, the resources are running out, many will run out over the next few decades and to maintain their wealth and life style the robber barons want the biggest share of what is left.

The biggest prize of all is seen to be the fossil fuel sources, oil, coal and natural gas. These energy sources fuel our civilization. They drive industry not only by supplying energy but also the raw materials for the plastics, chemicals, fertilizers, drugs, cloth and much more. Fossil fuels have allowed us the freedom to travel and to transport goods around the globe. They have allowed us to create a global village but there is a down side, they could possibly cause the demise of our civilization or at the very least a radical change in direction.

Thousands (97%) of the world’s climate scientists from over 100 countries are in agreement that we have a serious world problem. They have presented very strong evidence to prove that burning massive amounts of these fossil fuels gives off a gas called carbon dioxide which causes the Earth’s atmosphere to trap heat and warm up the world’s air and the oceans causing abnormal Global Warming. This is fact.

This abnormal warming is already causing the sea level to rise, more destructive storms, more extreme weather, more bush fires, more drought and more destructive floods. Last year in Australia and many other countries it was the hottest winter and summer ever recorded. This is fact.

The scientists and economists have also calculated that we must leave 80% of all the know fossil fuels in the ground to avoid dangerous global warming which in reality means a global catastrophe. This is also fact. Logically this means that we should cut back and eventually stop using fossil fuels and start using other renewable sources of energy which don’t cause global warming such as wind , wave and solar power. This is possible, it’s economically feasible and many of the more enlightened European countries are doing this.

The problem with this logical course of action is that the robber barons already own most of the fossil fuel resources. How do the ordinary people of the world ask them to stop burning fossil fuels and keep 80% in the ground. To ask them to stop using fossil fuels means that they will lose some of their investments in fossil fuel industries. Very few, if any of the robber barons are likely to willingly give up any of their wealth for any reason. They will fight to keep their wealth and keep using fossil fuels. In fact that is what is happening.

Australia has been called the lucky country as it is endowed with large amounts of coal and gas. That makes Australia a natural target for the robber barons. They would like to dig it all up and sell it to add to their wealth. The problem is these robber barons did not get rich and powerful by letting ordinary people stop them from doing whatever they want to do.

Australians are generally well educated and aware of global warming. They are also fiercely protective of their own backyards. So when foreign or even local robber barons want to dig up their backyard to loot and pillage the land for its fossil fuels then there is likely to be a confrontation. That confrontation is happening right now.

The robber barons who own the fossil leases and mines will not concede that global warming is even happening and have spent vast amounts of money on misinformation to try and convince some of the our population that there is no Global Warming problem. They bombard the public with propaganda through glib radio jocks and false and misleading articles in the commercial media.

Their army of dodgy ex-politician and journalist lobbyists have convinced some of the more gullible politicians to take little or no action to slow down global warming. They have also corrupted others within both of the major political parties into helping them plunder the country’s fossil fuels for a quick profit most of which (86%) goes to the foreign robber barons. When it comes to corruption Australians think the two most corrupt groups in the country are the commercial media and the political parties.

These robber barons have no sense civic duty or empathy with anyone living in Australia. They are quite happy to flout environmental laws, corrupt government ministers, make a terrible polluted mess where they mine and walk away leaving the locals with huge toxic health disasters to clean up. This is not what the majority of clear thinking Australians consider to be fair and just. In fact 92% of Australians stated that they do not tolerate corruption. They expect more from their politicians and do not accept foreign or local super wealthy sociopathic robber barons ruining their backyards.

In truth the world is a small place and since it is the only world we have to live in it belongs to all of us. Global Warming is a world problem and affects every person in every country. We cannot fight the war everywhere but we can fight it in our backyard where it occurs on Australian soil. This in effect means stopping the construction of any new coal or coal seam gas mines in Australia.

In previous wars the government has called for volunteers and they have marched off proudly to fight for Australia in foreign countries and came back as heroes. In the Global Warming War the Australian government has NOT called for volunteers. Instead it has cowardly surrendered to the robber barons allowing them to loot our fossil fuel reserves and pollute our farming land at their whim.

People are not born heroes, they become heroes when they stand up and fight for what they believe to be fair and just. Tens of thousands of Australians around the country have already stood up and have become green activists in groups like Lock the Gate to fight for what they believe to be fair and just an end to the cause of Global Warming.

They are fighting for a future for their children and their grandchildren. They are fighting for the animals and plants on our land and in the oceans. They are fighting for our Great Barrier Reef, for Australia and for the survival of humanity itself.

These people don’t use weapons of any sort. They fight non-violently. They are mothers and fathers with their children, grandparents and pensioners. They are farmers, tradesmen and business men, lawyers, teachers, doctors and students of all ages. They are the ordinary citizens of Australia. You will find them at the front line action camps every day putting their bodies on the line to defend all of us. On occasion they willingly get arrested by the police. They are our new heroes.

At Bentley in NSW, they recently made a stand, a blockade against the blight of coal seam gas (CSG) mining which pollutes the land, and the bore water which farmers rely on during droughts. It also causes serious health problems to those that live near the wells.

Thousands of green activist heroes were on call ready to leave their daily jobs to protect the blockade. Thousands vowed to stand up to the NSW government who threatened to send in several hundred police to remove them. At the last minute the government backed down referring the company to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) but the fight is not over. The looter and polluter company wants to continue the fight as it doesn’t care about the health of the community or Global Warming it craves only profit.

At the Leard State Forest in western NSW there is a different fight. A company funded by the robber barons wants to destroy the huge forest, over two dozen endangered species and hundreds of other bush inhabitants to create a giant open cut coal mine. This monster mine will produce 12 million tons of coal per year for the next 30 years, massively adding to the Global Warming problem. Hundreds of the new green activist heroes have been using non-violent methods to slow the destruction while trying to stop the project legally through the courts.

Other robber barons hiding behind multinational companies are attacking other locations all over Australia. In parts of Queensland there is already massive devastation and the sociopathic puppet state government controlled by the mining industry wants to create much more, including destruction of parts of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world.

Ninety one (91) new coal mines are planned in NSW and Queensland alone and more in areas all over Australia and 56% of the whole country, an area the size of Europe is covered by coal seam gas mine licenses. Australia is a global war zone. We are facing an ecological disaster of biblical proportions but it can be stopped if we all act together.

The war has only just begun both here and in many countries around the world. In part the war is against ignorance, complacency and fear as many people especially those who are more conservative are confused and scared. They say “It’s not my problem” or “I’m too busy” or “I simply don’t care.” When does it become their problem? When will they care? When will they stop being victims?

There are no superheros but there are green activists who are everyday heroes standing up to the robber barons to save Australia and the world from the spectre of a Global Warming catastrophe. They believe that it is their problem. They are not too busy and they do care about the future of their children and this beautiful country we call home. Are you one of them?

Will you join them and help them vote in a sensible green government devoted to mitigating Global Warming and stopping the robber barons from their psychotic ecocidal path towards global catastrophe through fossil fuel exploitation on Australian soil.

There are dozens of local green groups dedicated to fighting local global warming related issues near you such as Lock the Gate, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Society, No CSG Sydney and elsewhere. Join one or more and become a green activist hero and I’m sure your future grandchildren will be full of pride at your courage and you will have the satisfaction that you refused to be a victim, you cared, you fought and the world won.

Well worth reading to help understand the problem.

Meet Bill the 92 year old activist.

So You Want to Change the World? Better Read This First

The New Abolitionism

The Emperor Wears No Clothes – Bentley Blockade

The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate

Other Environmental articles by Des Pensable can be found here.

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An Adventure in WANDO land

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This Easter my partner Jo and I decided to travel to Camp Wando, an environmental training and protest action camp set up on a farmer’s property mid-way between Boggabri and Narrabri in central western NSW. We were keen to show support to a consortium of local farmers and green groups including Green Peace that were trying to save the Leard State Forrest from destruction by a rapacious mining company called Whitehaven. The company is controlled by ex-politicians and their bankster partners who wish to destroy a rare type of forest to create a massive coal mine that will ruin local farmlands and only add to the world’s global warming problem in an adverse way.

We had intended to arrive at the camp before sundown on the Easter Friday but a massive traffic jam in Sydney caused by tens of thousands of people leaving the city for country destinations meant that the six hour trip actually ended up taking nearly ten hours with over three hours being spent in Sydney traffic. The delay meant that we would be trying to find the camp and set up in the dark. Consequently we decided to stay overnight in a motel at Gunnedah and travel to the camp the next morning. This turned out to be a wise decision.

The next day, we set off for the camp located about 24 km off the main road between Boggabri and Narrabri on Saturday morning travelling on mainly dirt roads through mixed cattle and cotton country. If you haven’t been there imagine a land scape that is extremely flat and very fertile. From the road you can see farmland stretching off kilometres in all directions with an occasional small hillock to add variety.

The paddocks containing cotton were often kilometres wide and much of the cotton appeared ready for harvesting. There was no army of cotton pickers. It’s all done by a giant harvesting machine that cuts the cotton plants off at their base, somehow separates the cotton balls from the rest of the plant and outputs a giant roll of raw cotton that appeared to be about 3 m tall and 5 metres wide covered in yellow plastic.

There was plenty of green grass and good fodder to be seen along the road and in the paddocks for the properties running cattle as they had had some good rain a few weeks earlier. It was on the dirt road beside a paddock littered with young bullocks getting fattened up for market a few kilometres from Camp Wando that we met the first of the police. They had been turned out in large numbers to stop any protests.

For no reason at all we were pulled over asked who we were and why we were there. We had our licenses and car registration checked. They didn’t search our car although we found out later that they did search other people’s cars. They were courteous and not aggressive. Just doing their job! they said. We told the sergeant that we were on our way to Camp Wando and could he direct us. He couldn’t he said. He was up from Sydney and they were trying to find it themselves. Fortunately we had a map and so we continued on and they followed us at a distance until we arrived at the camp.

I must admit I felt a little sorry for these city cops. They must have drawn the short straw to get sent out to the bush to sit around for hours at a road block in the hot sun and cold nights trying to stop a group of nonviolent protesters from exerting their democratic rights to protest the environmental destruction of our national heritage by an immoral gang of looters and polluters rather than going to the Easter Show in Sydney and having a great time.

We arrived a little before mid-day and were welcomed by a friendly group of people from the camp who had us fill in a registration sheet that included questions about what skills we might be able to contribute. We were then given a tour and advised about the camp rules which were pretty simple logical and designed for everyone’s mutual benefit and wellbeing. There was a voluntary roster of camp jobs and everyone had communal meals around a camp fire area adjacent to the kitchen. There was a strict no drugs policy although beer and wine in moderation at meal times was considered acceptable.

The camp was set on a roughly rectangular block of perhaps five hectares of private property owned by one of the farmers and located next to his dwelling. Most of the area was covered in lush green grass owing to the recent rain and there were a few native trees around his home and along the fence line. There were a couple of farm sheds for use by the visitors. One was used as a communal kitchen and another as a workshop and communal meeting area. There was a small toilet block and some cold bore-water showers. The rest of the area was open space that would accommodate tents for perhaps a couple of hundred people although there were only about fifty people there when we arrived.

After setting up our tent we were invited to our first communal lunch around a campfire with about 40 others. The volunteer cooks made vegan, vegetarian and meat oriented dishes so there was plenty for all tastes. There was also plenty of fruit and of course a variety of different teas and coffees and beautifully cool refreshing bore water. The community meals were funded by a daily donation of $10 per person.

The people present were all ages from young children six years old to grey haired grandparents in their sixties, from all walks of life and from the towns, the cities and the country side. Many said they had never participated in any protest actions but were now concerned enough about global warming and the irresponsible attitude of the federal and state governments in promoting destruction of our forests to build more coal and CSG mines. They were deeply concerned that our governments were preferring corporate profit over the wellbeing of ordinary Aussies.

After lunch we got stuck into workshops on a variety of subjects including the environmental and economic arguments for protesting about the destruction of the Leard State forest. There were role playing exercises in nonviolent protesting, using non aggressive body language, defusing aggressive confrontations, and the like as well as first aid, working as a part of a team, the various roles of people in a protest. These workshops were quite fun and everyone seemed to be enjoying them.

Dinner that evening was a very cordial social affair as everybody had had a chance to meet and interact with many of the others there. It was lovely to see young and old freely conversing and all of similar mind about the threat to environment of Global Warming and need to take action to convince the government that they were elected for the benefit of the people of this land NOT for the foreign companies keen to loot and pollute this land leaving us with a huge clean-up bill for minimal national gain.

After a cool night, the next day was loaded with more workshops interspersed with sessions of play acting and theatre sports to provide some entertainment. A lot of time was spent on discussing legal matters; what actions people could get arrested for; what happened when people were arrested by police; the responsibilities of the police; the bail process and how the courts worked. Here people were advised to think carefully before they decided to get arrested as there could be repercussions in the workplace; potential restrictions on travel and social stigma. Curiously, many said getting arrested was a badge of honor. A demonstration of their deep passion and committment to this country.

The meals were great and it was wonderful to see everyone keen to get on the work roster with no complaints about anything except of course our federal government breaking just about all of their election promises and treating the Australian population with utter contempt.

Sunday evening was special as about twenty members of the Leard family who have been farming in the district for five generations and are currently threatened by the Whitehaven coal mine came visiting the camp bringing Easter eggs and drinks for all the camp as a gesture of support and good will. They stayed for dinner, enthusiastically praised and thanked all the people in the camp for coming and gave first -hand accounts of the problems caused by the mine and the police sent to stop protests.

One of the main problems seemed to be that city police are posted to the area and they have been setting up road blocks and stopping people from attending to their normal businesses. They have no idea who is a local and who is not. As a result there have been accounts of police refusing to allow farmers to travel to their own farms even when they had identification on them. One woman was blocked from going to church. This harassment of innocent farmers is not what the locals want or expect from the police. They blame Whitehaven and the police for the problem not the protesters.

On Sunday night everyone went to bed early as a protest action was being arranged for the Monday morning. Jo and I organised the manufacture of a large number of rabbit ears for the protesters to wear. It would give everybody a chuckle and look good in any media release photos. Unfortunately the action was thwarted by the police at a road block on the way where they searched the cars and seized all of our banners arguing that they were hazardous to mining machinery and refusing to even give receipts for the banners as required by law.

While no one was arrested nor should they have been for attempting to hold a peaceful nonviolent protest action the police were heavy handed in confiscating the banners. They made no friends by showing that they were happy to be the unpaid servants of the looters and polluters of our land and the greasy politicians who seem to be continually found to be guilty of corruption charges within the ICAC court and more often than not for corruption involving mining leases and practises. While people at the camp were a little disappointed they were by no means dispirited and planned further actions later in the week and got busy producing more banners.

Jo and I were a little disappointed at not being able to participate in a good protest as we had to return to Sydney on Tuesday for business reasons but the experience was wonderful. We met lots of lovely people who were passionate about protecting this country from the barbarians we call a government and we made more new friends whom I’m sure we’ll see in the near future.

The only sad thing that Jo and I heard came from one of the local farmers. He said “I fought for this country in the Second World War. I never thought I would have to fight to save it from our own government.” Neither did we mate!

If you wish to learn more about camp Wando, meet wonderful people of all ages from all walks of life who are concerned about Global Warming and wish to participate in non-violent peaceful protest actions to persuade our government to take action then check out the following links.

Postscript . When we returned home we found out that a protest action had been carried out by one of our new friends John Ross, a businessman from the north coast who locked himself onto a gate stopping a few coal trucks before police came and removed him. See below. Great work John.

Links..

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-31/protesters-arrested-at-whitehaven-coal-maules-creek-mine/5356226http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/2231793/pressure-to-lift-leard-forest-roadblocks/?cs=159
http://www.nvi.com.au/story/2233228/gallery-police-prepared-for-action/?cs=373
http://www.nvi.com.au/story/2233218/mine-road-blocks-disrupt-plans-for-easter-services/
http://nofibs.com.au/2014/04/22/civil-disobedience-and-the-leardblockade-adropex-comments/http://www.greenpeace.org.au/blog/historic-action-at-maules-creek-coal-mine/incl

The Transpacific Partnership (TPP) A Template for World Corporate Rule.

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Julian Assange of WikiLeaks said. “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons.” And “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

Part 1 Control of World Intellectual Property (IP)

Des Pensable (copyright) 2014.

Imagine what might happen if a group of the most powerful multinational corporations on the planet came up with a wish list of changes to government laws and rules that would allow for “free trade” between countries with little or no regulations. They might state that it would create jobs and everyone would benefit.

In a perfect world this might be true. However, there is no such thing as a perfect world run by people whose motto is “greed is good”. It is much more likely that they would come up with a list of changes in the laws of the countries that would maximize their profits and minimize their costs without consideration of the costs to workers and society in general.

They would state that to maximize profits they need lower company taxes and have low or no tax zones and generous government subsidies (corporate welfare). They might want the government to reduce their labor costs by scrapping minimum wages laws, anti-pollution and environmental protection laws and any regulations that limit imports or flow of money into or out of a country.

They might ask for severe laws leading to criminal penalties for anyone perceived to have acted in any way that might jeopardise their maximum profit. They might even suggest that any disputes that they have with a government be dealt with outside the country. This way they could operate in a country and be above the law of that country.

Imagine if all their wishes were granted at the same time by an international agreement crafted in secret. The companies would win big time and the people would lose out on almost every aspect of their lives. Job losses, more work for less money, harsher working conditions, poorer health, less leisure. The distribution of the country’s wealth would be tilted even more to the rich at the cost of the poor. The lucky country would become the unlucky country ruined by corporate greed.

This all sounds like the basis of a good dystopian novel except that it’s REALLY happening right now. It’s called the Transpacific Partnership or TPP. It’s supposed to be a ‘free trade’ agreement designed for 12 countries around the Pacific Ocean including Australia and New Zealand but it’s not about ‘free trade’ at all, it’s about restrictive trade and control of the world’s Intellectual Property (IP) and much more. It will change the way we live. It will cost every one of us in Australia a lot of money for very little benefit for decades to come. We should be concerned.

In a study on the “Economic Gains and Costs of the TPP” in New Zealand, the study was scathing about the modelling methods used by the US company employed by the NZ government to justify joining the TPP… “the TPP could sharply increase income and wealth inequality. A significant part of the rise in inequality over the last three decades has been widely attributed to globalization and the TPP can be expected to exacerbate this.”

There is also a similar trade agreement being discussed for most of Europe called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner, former World Bank chief economist) has stated

“[T]he negotiations to create a free-trade area between the US and Europe, and another between the US and much of the Pacific (except for China), are not about establishing a true free-trade system. Instead, the goal is a managed trade regime managed, that is, to serve the special interests [the multinational companies] that have long dominated trade policy in the West.”

“The likelihood that what emerges from the coming talks will serve ordinary Americans’ interests is low; the outlook for ordinary citizens in other countries is even bleaker.”

The TPP regulations cover not just trade but almost every aspect of our lives. Only 3 chapters of 29 are about trade, the rest cover everything from the use of the Internet, to labor and working conditions, food and agriculture, medicine and drugs, environment and pollution to flow of money in and out of countries and it’s been completely done in secret. Hundreds of advisers from the multinationals are involved but no consumer organisations and not even our own parliamentarians in Australia are privy to its contents.

If both the TPP and the TTIP are signed and ratified, without the people being a part of the process then the multinational companies will have a template to rule the world. It’s been called a “corporate coup in disguise” in the USA and strongly criticized in the UK and other countries. The multinationals have much to gain, and similarly you and I in Australia have much to lose.

These so called “Free Trade“ agreements will cause a dramatic reduction in democracy around the world as no one will be able to instruct their own governments to make laws to protect them from corruption, pollution, environmental destruction and the often antisocial and malevolent actions of some of the multinational corporations. We already know how hard it is to stop the big miners from polluting and destroying the environment in Australia without the TPP.

The Labor PartyGreens, The Australian Consumers Association (ACA), the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) encompassing dozens of consumer and human rights groups are alarmed and have been campaigning for release of the documents of the agreement so that the people of Australia can examine and judge the agreement BEFORE it is signed into law by our parliament. Dozens of eminent Australian lawyers have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister stating that the TPP will endanger Australia’s sovereignty.

This first article is on the Intellectual Property (IP) rights chapter leaked by Wikileaks and found to have unsettling consequences for you and me by many consumer and human rights organisations around the world .

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks said. “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons.” And “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) in the USA has examined the Wikileaks document on Intellectual Property and said “The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement. The main problems are two-fold: (1) IP chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate. (2) Lack of transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.” “The TPP Will Rewrite Global Rules on Intellectual Property Enforcement” “All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement.” “The leaked US IP chapter includes many detailed requirements that are more restrictive than current international standards, and would require significant changes to other countries’ copyright laws.” 

The Ramifications for Australia  Unfair restrictive laws with regard to the Internet, books, software, games, videos  and movies that will NOT benefit any Australian.

  1. Regulations and penalties to FORCE Internet service providers to police their Internet users connections and take down / block any sites that appear might be in breach of the US based copyright laws. It means Internet CENSORSHIP. It means that the Australian government will lose the rights to make laws regarding IP on the Internet. A similar rule to this was blocked by International protest last year.
  2. Treat temporary reproductions of copyrighted works without copyright holders’ authorization as copyright infringement.  You won’t be able to save ANYTHING shown on commercial radio, TV or the Internet to show other people or even comment about without being in breach of the law. This will drastically affect social media and Utube content.
  3. The TPP wants copyright terms to go well beyond the internationally agreed period in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This is NOT about fair compensation for the authors. It’s about big multimedia companies controlling art and literature and making profit out of it forever.
  4. Restrictions on Fair use of IP for example in reviews and research. This will affect libraries, schools, universities, social media and anyone wishing to do research or study.
  5. Digital Locks. The TPP calls for more extensive use of digital locks on media content. This will override Australia’s  2007 TPM regime exclusions for region-coding on movies on DVDs, videogames, and players, and for embedded software in devices that restrict access to goods and services for the device. In the US, business competitors have used digital locks to try to block printer cartridge refill services, competing garage door openers, and to lock mobile phones to particular network providers.
  6. Ban parallel importation of genuine goods acquired from other countries without the authorization of copyright owners. This will allow local branches of overseas companies to fix prices to limit competition and it will stop people from buying cheaper versions of the same software or media from overseas suppliers. Definitely NOT free trade.
  7. Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation. In short it means MASSIVE PENALTIES perhaps thousands of dollars and gaol sentences for any person caught copying a single song, video, movie or anything under copyright even for use within the same household. We will all be criminals.

Increased Cost of Medicine and Drugs.

Oxfam says that the “US [TPP] proposals will have dire health consequences across Asia and Latin America. Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF), says this about the TPP effect on public health in Australia.

  1. “US proposals would require the further patenting of modifications of old medicines, even in the absence of therapeutic benefits. They would also require patenting of surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic methods which could increase medical liability and the cost of medical practice and thus reduce access to medical procedures.”
  2. “It would prohibit pre-grant opposition to patents. This would make it much more difficult and costly for local organisations to challenge patents and drugs protected by patents even if the patents were invalid.”
  3. “It would also extend patents past the current 20-year norm and prohibit national drug regulatory authorities from approving generic medicine until patents have expired.”
  4. “Finally it would prevent drug safety regulators from using existing clinical data to give market approval to generic or biosimilar drugs. These are all great wins for big pharmaceutical companies. But they come at the cost of public health.”

In summary, all medicine and drugs in Australia and most other countries will cost more. This will inevitably force the government to make changes to Medicare either increasing the levy or reducing the benefits or both.

The real problem is that the current Australian government wants to sign the TPP with undue haste not caring to either tell the public about its contents or even debating its good and bad points in parliament. Fortunately the Greens and Labor successfully joined together to force the release of the text before it is approved by parliament.

However, political opinions vary from day to day. We could literally go from a democracy to a corporate controlled state in the next few months without most of the people being aware. The only good thing is that it is a multilateral agreement and many of the countries involved are against many of the US based proposals consequently there is a large lack of consensus.

The TPP will also have massive negative effects on Australian human rights, agriculture, food supply and the environment in general. But more about these in part 2.

What can you do… find out more … see ACA and / or AFTINET web sites … tell your friends, family and neighbours … the TPP will affect EVERY Australian … most probably ADVERSELY.

Latest Update – Hundreds of Tech Companies Complain

Further reading.

TPP Part 2- Will Tony Abbot Use the ISDS in the TPP to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL?

TPP Part 3 – The Hidden Agenda of the TPP- to Block Global Warming Mitigation