TPP Protesters Greet President Obama in Beverly Hills — in Pictures

tpp-lauren-355The Trans-Pacific Partnership (#TPP), a global trade agreement being secretly negotiated by 600 multinational corporations and industry trade groups, will affect nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives. If passed, it will undermine state, local and federal laws, including those governing food safety, environmental protection, internet freedom, worker rights, democratic sovereignty, healthcare and drug prices, and banking and finance regulation.

In short, it will be a disaster for public health and safety, future sustainability of the world’s food supply and basic democratic principles.

When asked why it was being negotiated in secret, Ron Kirk, the former US trade negotiator said, “Because if the people knew what was in it, it would never be passed.” It’s bad enough that Congress and the public have been shut out of these negotiations, while corporations are running the show. But even worse, the Obama Administration wants to ram the TPP through Congress using a Nixon-era process called Fast Track.

On November 25th, Barack Obama came to Beverly Hills for a high dollar fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees at the Beverly Park homes of former basketball star Magic Johnson and billionaire media mogul Haim Saban. Tickets started at $2500 a person for the reception and $16,200 a person for the dinner.

250 protesters were there to greet Obama and tell him to flush the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Here’s how the day and night went in pictures.

Photographers: Barry Levine, Guero Cerdo, Jessica Niederbruning, D’Marie Mulattieri, JB Wagoner, Ina Martinez, Niloo Khodadadeh, Mike Chamness, Rachael Sullivan , Sheila Burnham, Esperanza Ramirez, Justice Served, and Matthew Leddy.

Lauren Steiner

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Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills, where five streets converge. The site of Occupy 90210′s protest of Obama in Feb. ’12.

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The big banner that was dropped down the side of the US Trade Rep’s office in DC and then shipped to Salt Lake City for the protests the week prior to ours.

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Assembling the Overpass Light Brigade letters.

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Leading TPP songs to the tunes of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and “My Darling Clementine.”

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Michael Howell with his dad Ronald Howell make a sign. Michael later spoke for a few seconds on why he was there.

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Erecting the great banners that we got from DC via Salt Lake City. These banners have gotten a lot of use.

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Niloo Veggiloo led the group around the park chanting while we waited for all the speakers to show up.

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This second banner was stationed on the corner of Sunset and Benedict Canyon for all the eastbound traffic on Sunset to see.

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One of many handmade signs.

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The great train that Vlad Popescu and his team spent two Saturdays building.

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Organizer Lauren Steiner making sure everything was copacetic with the Beverly Hills PD.

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A dad gets a shot with a reporter from KTLA who didn’t interview a single soul about the protest even though she was stationed there for five hours! Don’t think she left her van to even listen to the speeches, because she asked me afterwards what it was all about.

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Kids who were dropped off by a local school bus listened to Lauren Steiner giving them the middle school version of the TPP and letting them know that corporations should never be more powerful that governments or people.

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As always, RT did the best news story. Here reporter Ramon Galindo interviews Maira Sutton, from EFF.

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Creative version of what TPP stands for.

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This protester knows that the TPP threatens government sovereignty.

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Motorists pulled down their windows to ask about the TPP. Needless to say, they had never heard of it.

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Randy Paige from KCBS2/KCAL9 going live from the rally.

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That’s right. Release the text.

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Christina House, LA Times photographer, took a great shot that was published in the paper the next day. Too bad they didn’t send a reporter or cover it in their article about Obama’s visit to LA.

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Occupy LA livestreamer Patti Beers who is always there to document resistance.

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Arnie Saiki an expert on the TPP made a wearable sign

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This protester is also a great artist.

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We had many kids at the action.

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The group heading back to hear the speakers.

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The crowd listening to the speeches.

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“Four years into these secret negotiations, the secret is out. The TPP is a trade agreement of, by and for the one percent,” said protest organizer activist Lauren Steiner. “The president has clearly done a one-eighty on all his campaign promises regarding trade. The question is whether members of Congress are going to follow him or stand with their constituents.”

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“Americans are waking up to the antidemocratic nature of such policies as the TPP,” said author Marianne Williamson. “And we’re not standing for it anymore. All around the country, people are shining the light on this multi-national corporate coup. The good news is, if our government thought they could just sneak this one by us, they were wrong.”

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“Passing the TPP will result in more American jobs being outsourced to foreign countries, more downward pressure on the wages of American workers, the continued erosion of workers rights in the U.S., and a significant weakening of Buy American provisions,” said Ernie Pacheco, Environmental Programs coordinator, Communications Workers of America.

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“Anyone that cares about promoting sustainable agriculture, labeling genetically engineered foods, or protecting food safety, should oppose the TPP,” said Zack Kaldveer, a spokesperson for the Organic Consumers Association. “This secret trade deal would grant a few transnational corporations unprecedented power to undermine the health and well-being of consumers and the planet in the pursuit of profits.”

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“The copyright enforcement provisions in the TPP pose a huge threat to a free and open Internet and imposes harmful restrictions on how users can use their digital devices, “ said Maira Sutton from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Hollywood industries have heavily influenced the TPP negotiations to strengthen copyright restrictions, in ways that will censor content and stifle digital innovation.”

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Alex Nagy from Food and Water Watch talked about LA’s proposed fracking ban and how that would be affected by the TPP.

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People were really digging the speeches.

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Michael Howell, age 10, said “The corporations are trying to use the TPP to take over the world. But I say Flush the TPP.”

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Lance Simmens from the Citizens Trade Campaign closed the rally.

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archers leave the rally and head toward the fundraiser

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The group ready to cross Sunset Blvd.

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The crowd crosses Sunset to march to the fundraiser.

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Protesters getting into the chants. “Hey Obama, you can’t hide. We can see your corporate side.”

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This protester decorated her shirt as well as brought a sign.

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The crowd is stoked.

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One of the more dynamic signs.

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Protest organizer Lauren Steiner.

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Can you tell she’s fired up and ready to go?

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The Los Angeles Overpass Light Brigade in position on Tower Road, the road leading to the fundraiser.

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Folks from Anonymous joined our action.

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A treatise on corporate domination.

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Protesters flanked both sides of Benedict Canyon Drive and even got into the streets and handed flyers to drivers stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.

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By 5 pm, Obama was still not there. We found out he just left San Francisco.

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So a group of about 50 hiked up a two-mile hill to the fundraiser. The got stopped about a half a mile from the fundraiser and hung with reporters.Vlad Popescu is being interviewed by reporter from KTLA.

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I, Lauren Steiner, was trying to take a shortcut to take two late protesters up to the fundraiser when I came upon a barricade. Realizing that this was the way the motorcade was coming, I and Matthew Leddy, Rocio Hernandez and Elizabeth Lerer quickly got the banner out of the trunk, unfurled it and within five minutes, Obama’s motorcade passed by. We were screaming “Stop the TPP” at the top of our lungs. He definitely saw and heard us.

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Shutting off Benedict Canyon at 6:50. Obama was now almost 90 minutes

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Here comes the motorcade.

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Cop directing traffic up Tower Road.

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And this is what Obama saw before he turned the corner.

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