It is a Tuesday night in a back courtyard near the central train station in the western German city of Münster. Shortly after 7 p.m., 10 people gather in the Academy for Theology and Politics. According to its website, the group is made up of “engaged citizens and representatives of diverse organizations.” And it continues: “We are developing joint activities against the impending free trade agreement TTIP.”
Men and women of all ages are present. For more than a year they have been coming every two weeks to the dreary building, planning demonstrations against the closed-door negotiations being held in Brussels and Washington, gathering signatures against the secret plans of the governments, which will make the corporations almighty and the citizens powerless. That is how they see things here.
Today they want to talk about what they want to get started with the campaign day against TTIP. On April 18 there will be a national campaign to collect signatures for a European citizens’ initiative. So far, more than 1.6 million signatures have been gathered. In two weeks they want to break the 2 million mark. But there is also this problem: how to deal with the mainstream press.
The group has an intense discussion over whether or not they want to allow journalists to sit in on their “round table” talk. They discuss whether they should make public the reasons why they want to stop the free trade agreement, and how they want to convince the citizens of their position.