38 Degrees members attend Sheffield TTIP Roadshow

TTIP is the shady trade deal that that would allow big corporations to sue the government for loss of profit. The EU-US deal, negotiated behind closed doors, could lead to permanent privatisation of the NHS.

BritishAmericanBusiness is organising events to promote TTIP – they represent big banks and big money – so it’s no wonder . The ‘TTIP Roadshows’ are happening across the UK and are sponsored by Vince Cable’s business department (BIS). This morning one took place in Sheffield.

38 Degrees members RSVPed to say they’d like to attend – but some were told the list was full, others were given excuses about security concerns or told the meeting was for business owners only. Although TTIP will effect everyone, this certainly wasn’t a meeting where everyone was welcome.

Those who did get on the list to attend included the US Embassy, representatives of Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University, Santander, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and businesses like Pinder Brother Ltd and Medlink. Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, John Healey, was speaking in favour of TTIP at the meeting.

Even though we couldn’t go inside, local 38 Degrees members got together to make our voices heard outside the meeting instead. About 30 of us made an early start at 8am – bringing leaflets and placards.

In the end, we outnumbered the meeting’s guests! That’s a sign that there is real appetite for a discussion on TTIP – and not just with business insiders and politicians. We caused a stir outside the meeting, and made sure everyone was aware that the deal was by no means popular.

Later in the morning, we went to a nearby café to discuss the next steps for our campaign. We were all keen to talk about the European wide day of action on 11 October. With campaigners – and witty placards – like these, TTIP is up against some strong opposition.

The next TTIP roadshow is in Bristol on November 12th. In the mean time, do you have any ideas of how to be involved in them? Or, if John Healey is your MP – what do you think about him speaking at the event?