It's "the least boring piece of news related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in ages," according to one campaigner.
Celebrities including Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, punk band Anti-Flag, and Lost actress Evangeline Lilly are mobilizing against the 12-nation, corporate-friendly deal—which has been exposed by multiple analyses as threatening the climate, labor protections, access to medicine, and human rights—with a nationwide series of activism-fueled music events starting next Saturday in Denver.
"Working people everywhere have had enough," said Morello in a press statement. "The TPP is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our democracy. That's why people are rising up to stop it. Corporate lobbyists want to sneak the TPP through Congress quietly; that means it's time for us to get loud."
And get loud they will, with the Rock Against the TPP roadshow, jointly organized by Morello's new label, Firebrand Records, and digital rights group Fight for the Future. In addition to Denver, the tour will make stops in at least four yet-to-be-announced cities.
"The TPP is not a trade deal, it's a corporate coup—an attack on the future of democracy and free speech," said Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer. "People from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly oppose it, and we're going to fight not only to stop the TPP, but to make sure that decisions that affect all of us are never made behind closed doors in the future."
Though the agreement is "at the heart" of President Barack Obama's trade agenda—last week on the "Tonight Show," the president declared he was "down with TPP"—it faces steep odds in Congress and widespread opposition from both the general public and presidential candidates.
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The Washington Post reports that "[p]roponents of the pact have said they are eyeing a potential 'lame duck' session of Congress after the November elections as the best chance to get the deal ratified."
Al Jazeera added:
But while there is cautious optimism in the Obama administration, the timelines and sensitivities attached to election politics do not portend well for the deal being struck by the end of the year.
It will require political capital that is needed on other key priorities such as the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
But as Lilly put it, "This fight against the TPP is not about right and left, it's about right and wrong. Whatever you're passionate about, whether it's human rights, internet freedom, climate change, or food safety, the TPP is a bad deal for humanity, and a threat to the future of democracy. The more people learn about the TPP, the less they like it. It's our responsibility to sound the alarm, before it's too late."