In a recent episode of Act Out! host Eleanor Goldfield looked at how massive protests in Germany and elsewhere in the European Union are turning the tide against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a massive trade deal similar to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP).
With an estimated 250,000 people in attendance, the Berlin rally to stop the TTIP agreement was next level. Shot from the top of the famous Victory Column in Tiergarten, the below video shows the mass of protesters stretching all the way back to the Brandenburg Gate and beyond. The event kicked off at the Hauptbahnhof station, with Tango dancers dancing in protest against the TTIP.
More than two hours after the event had started, throngs of marchers were still pouring into Tiergarten.
Impressive as the event was and as pretty as the pictures are — what is it really all about?
In his recent State of the Union, Obama made many bold statements which people have said were “progressive” and hopeful. These include: his support for paid sick leave for American workers, a pathetic increase of the minimum wage to $10.10, meant to hurt the ‘Fight for $15’ movement; a promise to veto legislation that overturns deficient Wall Street “reform;” support for “affordable” quality childcare; minimal raises in taxes for the wealthy, which isn’t nearly enough; sorta free community college ; supposedly protecting “a free and open Internet,” and so on.
Obama also made a number of ‘firsts’ by mentioning transgender and lesbian people in his State of the Union, claiming that the United States government protects them (oh really), which seems great but ignores the fact that not only is Obama “a born again” evangelical Christian, but he has, during his presidency, allowed federal money to fund groups that supported the anti-gay bill in Uganda and “conservative faith-based groups affiliated with the Family Research Council, anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers and an entire network of evangelical abstinence-only educators,” according to an exhaustive investigation in The Nation.
It is important to focus on other parts of the speech, often missed by other analysis, which emphasize American exceptionalism , including a section where he hypocritically criticizes Russia for actions that the US has done in the past: