URGENT! EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND!
Occupiers of the World:
I'm writing on behalf of Occupy Wall Street's Trade Justice Working Group to pass on an urgent call to action that we've received from our comrades at Occupy Seoul in South Korea. Please read their call to action at http://occupyfta.nofta.or.kr/2011/11/ca ... ea-us.html and join Occupy Wall Street in taking action in solidarity this Tuesday!
Occupy Wall Street's Direct Action Working Group has made a demonstration at the Korean Consulate in NYC our official action of the day, and OWS Trade Justice urges Occupations around the world to do the same.
What: An international day of solidarity with the 99% in Korea against police attacks on protesters and against the US-Korea trade deal, which BANS regulations on the financial industry and will cost the US 159,000 jobs -- not mostly to Korea, but to exploitative Chinese sweatshops where Korean corporations manufacture the parts in "Korean-made" goods, and wipe out Korea's family farms while expanding polluting, inhumane, disease spreading factory farms in the US. A vote on this agreement may take place in Korean Parliament this week!
When: Tuesday, November 22, 2011.
How: March, rally, protest, occupy! Let us know what your doing by filling out the form at tradejustice.net/n22 so we can coordinate press work and share resources. You'll also find downloadable materials you can use for your event at that link.
Where: At the Korean Consulate nearest you (http://www.mofat.go.kr/english/regions/index.jsp) or any place where you can gather and raise your voices against the Korea trade deal.
If you have any questions or want to discuss your plans, please call OWS Trade Justice at (718) 218-4523 or email email@example.com.
On Saturday, October 19th, Occupy Seoul will engage in a day of mass action to stop the ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreements.
Our Korean allies view this literally as a life or death struggle -- one Korean set himself ablaze and took his own life as an act of protest against a trade agreement that be disastrous for the 99% in both countries (more info at tradejustice.net/death). In the last few weeks opposition to the trade deal has mushroomed as Koreans inspired by the global Occupy movement have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands.
As in the US, Occupy protesters in Korea have face intense and violent repression - in a scene out of the civil rights era, Korean police have assaulted peaceful protesters with water cannons, causing one protester's eardrum to rupture. Water cannons can cause serious injury -- an environmental protester in Germany was blinded when his eyes were literally ripped out by a water cannon. (see video of the water cannon attacks on Korean protesters at http://occupyfta.nofta.or.kr/)
This weekend's protest is CRUCIAL, because the Korean parliament wants to return to session on November 24th to pass the trade deal. With resistance growing and their base of support crumbling, they see this as their last chance.
With more anti-protester violence expected next week our Korean allies have called for an International Day of Action on Tuesday, November 22nd in reaction to the police repression that we know will happen during the 11/22 protests and in anticipation of the Parliament session beginning on the 11/24. We must tell Korean President Lee, his Grand National Party, and the Korean police that the whole world is watching!
Backed by Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, the Korea FTA commits its signatory countries to refrain from limiting the size of financial institutions, imposing firewalls between the sort of financial services one firm may offer, banning toxic derivatives, or controlling destabilizing capital flights and floods. (Read more at http://tradejustice.net/financial)
The free trade agreement is also supported by Wal-mart and other corporations that profit from outsourcing US jobs to sweatshops. The US International Trade Coalition estimates that over 159,000 US jobs will be lost as a result of the this trade agreement, which allows Korea to export products to the US with little or not tariffs, even if 65% of a product is made in a Chinese sweatshop. This is bad for workers in both Korea and the US and will only continue the brutal exploitation of factory workers in China. (Read the joint statement by labor federations in the US and Korea: tradejustice.net/jointstatement)
Corporate factory farm agribusiness will also be a big winner of this trade deal, at the expense of family farms, the environment, and animal welfare. Thousands of Korean farmers have rallied against the deal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3REN2Mii7xA) while US family farm group have also organized against it (read the National Family Coalition's statement at http://tradejustice.net/farmers).
People with life-threatening illnesses face the loss of access to medications from an agreement that will limit access to genetic medicines to increase pharmaceutical companies' profits on brand name drugs. These same rules also limit software freedom. (http://nofta-ip.jinbo.net/?q=view/english/14)
The free trade agreement also forces Korea to lower auto emissions standards, fails to integrate reforms advocates by animal welfare advocates, obligates Korea to accept genetically modified foods, and gives foreign corporations the right to sue for unlimited sums in compensation for future profits lost as a result of US and Korean environmental laws -- pressuring both countries to drop or fail to enforce environmental laws (more info at http://gjae.org/?page=KORUS)
Please visit tradejustice.net/n22. To read Occupy Seoul's International Call to Action, register your action, and find resources that you can use at your event. To view photos and videos of actions in Korea and learn more about the the struggle against the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, visit occupy Seoul's website at occupyfta.nofta.or.kr.
For additional background on how the Korea-US FTA will hurt the 99% in both countries, visit http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=4801
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