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TradeJustice Organizes Teach-ins at Occupy Wall Street, Launches Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice Working Group

On Monday, October 10th, 2011, TradeJustice New York Metro organized our first teach-in at Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza, site of Occupy Wall Street. The teach-in addressed the impending vote on the Colombia, South Korea, and Panama Free Trade Agreement, scheduled to take place two days later.

Sukjong Hong of Nodutol for Korean Community Development introduced the speakers, addressed the destructive impacts of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, and explained how FTAs will undermine efforts to regulate the financial industry Wall Street symbolizes. Adam Weissman of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment explained how the FTAs would endanger rainforests, expand factory farms, and contribute to climate change. Christina Schiavoni of WhyHunger explained how free trade agreements undermine food sovereignty and security. Sunyata Altenor of the Latin American and Caribbean Community Center addressed the US-Panama FTA's threat to Panamanian indigenous communities and workers and the use of Panama as a tax haven by corporations. Carlos Salamanca of Mingas New York spoke on the labor and human rights implications of the US-Colombia FTA. Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance discussed how these FTAs will increase unemployment and harm the US economy.

When the presentations were completed, teach-in participants sat in a circle to plan actions for the final days before the FTA vote and decided to organize another teach-in for the following day and a day-long vigil at Representative Carolyn Maloney's Manhattan office.

View photos of the teach-in

At the conclusion of the teach-in, Carlos, Sunyata, and Sukjong were interviewed by Democracy Now

Afterwards, Sukjong and Adam were interviewed by Curtis on his American Jobs Alliance Radio Show.
Listen to the interview.