Some high-powered celebrities are joining the fight against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) alongside digital advocacy group Fight for the Future.
Fight for the Future is organizing a series of summer events, including protests and free concerts.
Actress Evangeline Lilly, star of Lost and The Hobbit, will be acting as the master of ceremonies at the events, which feature artists Talib Kweli, Tom Morello, Anti-Flag, Taina Asili, and Flobots. Each have a history of supporting liberal causes like environmentalist groups, Occupy Wall Street and PETA.
The TPP is an international free trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries. The TPP was signed on Feb. 4, 2016, however before the agreement is finalized, Congress must vote to approve it. Proponents of the deal including some economists say it will promote trade by reducing tariffs and corruption, and would make the international market more accessible to small businesses.
Showing its bias, Fight for the Future described the TPP as a “toxic deal, which has little to do with trade, but would provide multinational corporations with new rights and powers that threaten good paying jobs, Internet freedom, the environment, access to medicine, and food safety.” With its Rock Against the TPP campaign, Fight for the Future is attempting to campaign against it prior to Congress’ vote to approve or reject the TPP agreement.
One of Fight for the Future’s other projects is protesting police being allowed to use “weapons of war.” On its website, the organization cited the Ferguson protests and claimed “militarized” policemen “brutally attacked protesters and journalists with teargas, rubber bullets, sound cannons, concussion grenades, and military vehicles.”
The anti-TPP concert tour will begin July 23, in Denver with Tom Morello, Anti-Flag, Flobots, and Downtown Boys. Concerts have been also been scheduled in San Diego, Seattle, and Portland, and artists performing at the events will vary.
Fight for the Future’s official press release quoted Evangeline Lilly who said, “Whatever you’re passionate about, whether it’s human rights, internet freedom, climate change, or food safety, the TPP is a bad deal for humanity, and a threat to the future of democracy.”
“The TPP is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our democracy. That’s why people are rising up to stop it. Corporate lobbyists want to sneak the TPP through Congress quietly; that means it’s time for us to get loud,” said Tom Morello, former Rage Against the Machine guitarist.
Morello is not new to liberal political activism. In 2011, he played in Madison, Wis., to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform bill, and in New York City to show support for the radical Occupy Wall Street movement.
On June 10, 2016, Morello appeared on Bill Maher’s Real Time wearing a hat with the words, “Make America Rage Again.” When asked what he would do if presidential candidate Donald Trump used one of his songs at a rally, Morello said, “I would go choke his ass out.”
Like Morello, hip-hop artist Talib Kweli performed in 2011 at the New York Wall Street protests. Kweli also participated in the Ferguson, Missouri protests following the shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014. Kweli frequently tweets about racial issues, and on July 6, he tweeted, “Resisting arrest is a bullshit charge made up to further criminalize poor ppl of color.”
Jonny 5 from Flobots was featured in a song called “99th Problem,” written in support of the Wall Street protests against the so-called 1%.
Taina Asili wrote and recorded a song called “Freedom” for the Black Lives Matter movement. The song’s music video shows black protesters running from a white policeman as Asili sings, “What do we want? Freedom. When do we want it? Now.”