by Megan Bentall Oct 12th, 2015
On Friday 9th and Saturday 10th October 38 Degrees members across the UK started handing in the massive petition – 3.2 million signatures and counting – against TTIP into their MPs. The petition hand ins will be carrying on over the next few months.
Here’s what 38 Degrees members had to say about some of this weekend’s hand-ins:
Dereck, Swansea West:
It was a nice sunny day down on St Helen’s Road in Swansea so we got the banner up and a couple of placards and talked to members of the public.
Geraint Davies MP has been very supportive of the 38 degrees campaign against TTIP so was very happy to meet with 38 degrees members there.
As more people become aware of the risks of TTIP with big corporations getting the right to sue Government’s over policies they don’t like the more support we will get.
Mark Spencer listened to our views, and mentioned his own concerns around the effect of TTIP on the farming industry, particularly in light of the influence it had on the EU dropping its ban on hormone disrupting chemicals.
Hope it’s gone as well everywhere else, and I’m proud to be a part of it!
Jackie, Reading East:
16 of us turned up to present the No TTIP petition to Reading East MP, Rob Wilson. It was a wonderful show of solidarity. This, together with the 804 signatures from 38 Degrees members in East Reading, showed the strength of feeling among the public. Rob Wilson came out to speak to us as his small office could only accommodate a few people! We all wanted to join in! There was an obvious strength of feeling, with many points being mentioned by different members of the group.
Rob Wilson was clear that he would vote in favour of TTIP, despite not having had the chance to read it since the secret negotiations are ongoing. We pointed to the need for greater transparency, the use of transparent courts rather than the secret ISDS protocol, the damage that could ensue from lowering standards of food regulation, and the unbalancing of our democracy in favour of corporations. There was some listening taking place but, sadly, no meeting of minds. What did we achieve? Firstly, we made people aware of the TTIP plan of action and its dangers. Secondly, we collected a substantial level of support even before we met our MP. Thirdly, we engaged in the political process, not just leaving it to a once in five years vote. Fourthly, we were heartened by working positively together to a common purpose. And fifthly, we collected contacts for our future actions and activity. It was a most successful day. Even the sun shone down on us!
Peter, South East Cornwall:
All went well, but despite assurances no one was there to accept the petition. That will look good in the press!
Rob, Enfield, Southgate:
Eastenders actress Lindsey Coulson was one of fifteen 38 Degrees members who met with Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes as part of the national day of action on 10 October. We handed him a petition signed by hundreds of local people and discussed key issues of concern about TTIP, primarily its lack of transparency and how it will give even more power to multinational corporations.
Derek, East Dunbartonshire:
I’m reporting back on our TTIP petition hand-in last night. We gatecrashed a social event that our MP John Nicolson was attending! It all went very well. John is strongly supportive of the campaign and was delighted to take part, and there are a few photos attached. Probably the best composed picture is 0509, which shows 38 Degrees members Daphne Benton and me (Derek Ball) on the left, with MP John Nicolson on the right. We handed out leaflets to all the party-goers, and there was a little speech saying what it was all about. No press attended unfortunately, but John Nicolson’s office will send a press release around, with photos.
John, Welwyn and Hatfield
A group of us attended at the Constituency office (in Hatfield), yesterday, to present Grant Shapps, our MP (for Welwyn & Hatfield), with the TTIP petition.
Although I had told Grant Shapps that we would be there, he didn’t attend and, after getting some pictures (two are attached, hereto, for you), we posted the petition through the letter-box. I had written a letter, to go with the petition, and the three other (38 Degrees) supporters, who came along, added their signatures to mine, before the letter was delivered.
I have sent copies of the photos to the Welwyn & Hatfield Times, along with an account of what happened, yesterday.
Mary, Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Just under 20 38 degrees members turned out on sat to pass over petition box to local MP Margaret Ferrier. And also gave certificate to Local councillor John Ross for coming along too. We hand out leaflets on TTIP and passers-by interested when we explained dangers of TTIP they were eager to sign European TTIP petition and shocked about dangers of big corporations being able to suit Governments if TTIP passed. Great day and was very successful response with people coming over to stall to see what we were doing.
Amanda, West Dorset:
Sherborne, its stunning ancient Abbey flanked by public schools, is a majorly Conservative stronghold – in every sense of the word. I was a little anxious that no one from the town would join the meeting with Oliver Letwin to hand in the Petition- and I was right! What I hadn’t considered were the amazing stalwarts who took three hours travelling from Bridport, or the Bee keeper from Maiden Newton, the new member from Dorchester and Jim, whose passion for justice infects everyone.
And so with banner unfurled as the rest of the town went about its business, we presented to Oliver Letwin; a small but determined group stood united, whilst Letwin’s PPS recorded the moment!
Julie, Doncaster Central:
Rosie Winterton was very knowledgeable about TTIP. She had taken the time to establish exactly what Labour’s stance was on the issue. She had a huge file packed with information and referred to it. She was determined to know as much as possible and asked for my notes too (which I was very happy to donate)
She explained that is was important to establish a trade link with the U.S but she was adamant that protecting the NHS and stopping the possible negative impact of ISDS was vital. She was pleased some progress was being made as courts were now open (much to the annoyance of the US) but there was further still to go.
Excellent meeting and pleased with the results.
Hand-ins are happening over the next couple of months! Click here to find out if there’s a hand-in with your MP.