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NYC People’s Referendum on Free Trade

PO Box 344, New York, NY 10108

Voice: (347) 905-7334 * info@ftaareferendum.org

Web: http://tradejustice.net


For Immediate Release: 10/1/07

Contact: Adam Weissman (347) 293-2217

Media Advisory/ Photo Opportunity


"Cowboy Bush" Wrangles Rangel to Support Pro-Corporate, Anti-Public Interest, Peru Free Trade Agreement in Street Theater Performance


Who: Members of Peruvians for Fair Trade, NYC People's Referendum on Free Trade, Global Justice for Animals, Health GAP (Global Access Project), New York Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Wetlands Activism Collective, and the Movement for Peace in Colombia.

What: Activists will also stage a speak out/press conference, featuring Carlos Quiroz of Peruvians for Fair Trade, an indigenous Peruvian who has lobbied Rangel in opposition to the Peru agreement. Afterwards in a street theater performance, award winning lasso performance artist Telfair Cardaci (http://wildwestentertainment.net), acting as Cowboy George Bush will "wrangle" a performer playing Charlie Rangel into support of pro-corporate free trade agreements with bribes from corporate interests Occidental Petroleum and Pfizer. Rangel and Bush will sing songs and dance together while grabbing medications out of the hands of people with AIDS, displacing indigenous people to build oil pipelines, and shooting rainforest wildlife, symbolizing expected outcomes of the passage of the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

When: TODAY, October 1, 9:30 AM-11AM

Where: Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, 125th St & 7th Ave (Charlie Rangel's office). (2 or 3 train to 125th St)

Why: In 2005 Representative Charles Rangel was one of 205 Democrats to vote against the Central America Free Trade Agreement, and in 2006 he voted against the Oman Free Trade Agreement. But Democratic leaders like Rangel and Speaker Nancy Pelosi were showered with campaign contributions by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (Rangel's 11th largest contributor) and notorious Amazon and Andes polluter Occidental Petroleum (Pelosi's largest contributor) in the 2006 election cycle.

Since then, Rangel, as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has been instrumental in pushing the Bush-backed Peru Free Trade Agreement towards ratification, even though it differs little from the agreements he voted against. He has scoffed at objections raised by labor unions, indigenous rights groups, AIDS activists, animal rights groups, and environmental activists, expressing a desire to "ignore a lot of people that really was just wasting my time, and didn't intend to support it all." (PBS' Nightly Business Report, 11/18/07) According to Adam Weissman of the NYC People's Referendum on Free Trade, "Rangel is more loyal to George Bush and wealthy corporations than to voters. He's selling out the public interest in the US and Peru with the Peru Free Trade Agreement to keep corporate donors funding Democratic electoral campaigns. This agreement will kill people with AIDS by limiting access to lifesaving medications; irreparably damage the Peruvian Amazon by protecting corporate polluters; hurt workers and family farmers in both countries; increase forced migration and cocaine production by Peruvian farmers driven out of business; and promote animal cruelty with increased hunting and factory farm expansion."