Resist Much, Obey . . . Not!
In his epic book of poetry Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
advises “Resist Much. Obey Little.” But when it comes to corporations
trampling on local rights, the city of Madison, Wis., advises other
cities and counties to do what it has done: Resist much. Obey not.
In October, the Madison City Council unanimously passed a resolution
declaring the city a “TPP-Free Zone,” and promising that if Congress
passes the Trans Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement, “We will
not obey” it.
The TPP is the largest global trade pact to be negotiated since the World Trade Organization (WTO). Most of the details of the deal remain a mystery, because negotiations are being conducted in secret. But we know, from some of the drafts that have been leaked, that the TPP would hand transnational corporations the power to “protect their future profit potential” by suing countries, states, counties or cities in order to wipe out existing laws—laws specifically designed to protect communities’ best interests.
Those interests could include everything from internet freedom and banking and finance regulation, to the passing of bans on growing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
it a sovereignty issue, or local control, or threat of lowering local
standards with regard to government procurement (elimination of any “buy
local” ordinances), food safety ordinances, living wage ordinances,
environmental requirements, prevailing wage requirements on
construction, etc.—[Madison City Council members] saw all these as
threats to their authority and the job they had been elected to do." – David Newby, Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition.