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Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice Working Group

Media Advisory /Photo Opportunity

For Immediate Release 10/25/11
Contact: Adam Weissman (347) 730-3981

Occupy Wall Street to Outsource Charlie Rangel's Office to Foreign Sweatshop for Selling Out the 99% to Wall Street with Job-Killing Korea, Panama Trade Vote

Endorsers: Americans Jobs Alliance, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Harlem Fightback Against Wars At Home and Abroad, Harlem Tenants Council, Latin American and Caribbean Community Center, League of Humane Voters of New York, Occupy Wall Street Arts and Culture Working Group, Occupy Wall Street Direct Action Working Group, Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice Working Group, Penley Global Law., Peruvians in Action New York, Rev. Earl Koopercamp (St. Mary's Church West Harlem), Queerocracy.

What: Occupy Wall Street and allied groups will rally at Rangel's office to call him out for voting for free trade agreements with Panama and Korea. Activists will pass out "Charlie Rangel Pink Slips" to inform Harlemites that Rangel just voted for a trade deal that will outsource 159,000 US jobs. Believing that Rangel's vote should make him the first person to lose his job as a result of the trade deal, the activists will visit his office with moving boxes to outsource his job to sweatshops in Vietnam and China.

When: Today, Tuesday, October 25th, 12:30PM

Where: Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, 163 West 125 Street at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

Why: Despite Representative Charlie Rangel visiting Zuccotti Park and expressing his support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, on October 12th, Rangel voted for a trade agreement with South Korea that locks in deregulation of Wall Street and an agreement with Panama that will help corporations avoid paying US taxes by hiding money in Panamanian banks.

Rangel has pushed these trade agreements for years.  As chair of  the House Ways and Means Committee, he negotiated the May 10th Bipartisan Agreement on Trade with the Bush administration, a deal designed to give House democrats political cover to vote for these trade deals. This allowed him in 2007, to add a sliver of Democrats to the majority of House Republicans to pass the Peru Free Trade Agreement, despite opposition from the majority of House Democrats politically palatable.  As human rights and environmental advocates feared, the agreement, with the active complicity of then-President Alan Garcia opened the floodgates for seizure of indigenous lands by mining, oil, logging, and agribusiness corporations, leading to a police massacre of indigenous people when communities rose up to defend their land. Instead of learning from this disastrous mistake, Rangel instead voted for two more NAFTA-style trade deals.

The trade agreements Rangel voted for trade agreements will:

- encourage corporations to outsource 159,000 US jobs, many to sweatshops in China and Vietnam ("Korean made" goods can be primarily made in sweatshops in these countries under the trade agreement).

- prohibit critical regulations designed to prevent the financial sector from causing another economic collapse.

- help corporations avoid paying taxes by hiding money in Panamanian banks.

- help Colombian narcoterrorist paramilitaries launder money in those same Panamanian banks.

- vastly expand factory farm agriculture at the expense of the environment, animal welfare, family farmers, and public health.

- limit access to life-saving generic drugs for the poor.

- exacerbate displacement and human rights violations against Panama's indigenous peoples.

- allow foreign corporations to bring suits in international tribunals to attack the US, Panama, and South Korea's labor, environmental, and other public interest laws.

- continue violations of the human rights of workers in Panama.

- obligate South Korea to lower its auto emissions standards for US cars, exacerbating climate change.

-require South Korea to allow genetically modified US food to be imported, in spite of a national ban on GM foods.

- increase corporate exploitation of Panama's endangered rainforests.

According to Adam Weissman of the Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice Working Group, "Occupy Wall Street and the 99% are not fooled when Charlie Rangel says he supports us and then goes back to Washington to pass trade deals with Panama and Korea that prohibit regulations on Wall Street, outsource 159,000 US jobs, and help corporations and the 1% hide their money in overseas bank accounts to avoid paying their fair share of taxes."

Additional info: http://tradejustice.net/rangelkit