Wednesday, 04 February 2015
Approximately 200 people according to police forces, 300 according to the organisers, protested at the Schuman roundabout in Brussels at the behest of “Friends of the Earth Europe”, an NGO, on Wednesday morning. The protest was organised to coincide with the 8th round of TTIP negotiations (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) which is taking place this week.
An 8-metre-tall inflatable “Trojan horse” was blown up to represent the hidden dangers of TTIP. Performers wearing suits impersonated big business lobbyists and protesters holding “Stop TTIP” banners symbolically blocked the path of the Trojan horse.
“Reducing harmful emissions will get harder and this could contribute to global warming,” points out Francesca Gater, spokesperson for “Friends of the Earth Europe”. “Standards for both health and agriculture will be lowered.”
The NGO is unhappy with the lack of transparency in these negotiations and believes they will jeopardise hard-won EU legislation on food safety, the use of chemicals, GMOs, and measures to limit climate change. It points out that some proposals would allow businesses to sue governments in special courts if legislation was put in place to protect individuals or the environment at the expense of businesses.
Over 1.25 million citizens throughout Europe signed a petition demanding an end to this trade agreement.