Protest Portrait

Germany’s Anti-TTIP Warriors

TTIP protesters DPA
Anti-TTIP protestors in Berlin.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Nowhere is opposition to the TTIP agreement more vehement than in Germany. Activists are plugging into a deep mistrust of political and business elites.
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  • Facts

    Facts

    • According to a YouGov opinion poll, only 26 percent of Germans fully support TTIP.
    • An online petition against TTIP has collected 1.652 million signatures, of which 976,000 are from Germany.
    • Anti-TTIP activists in Germany are organizing a day of protest for April 18.
  • Audio

    Audio

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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.

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