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Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the one-of-them-looked-at-me-weird dept.

Your Rights Online 142

Glyn Moody (946055) writes "The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), potentially the world's biggest trade agreement, has been negotiated behind closed doors for nearly a year now. Apart from what we learn from a few official releases — and an increasing number of leaks — we still don't really know what is being agreed in the name of 800 million people in the U.S. and EU. When a peaceful anti-TTIP protest was held outside yet another closed-doors meeting in Belgium, the local police sent in the water cannons and arrested nearly 300 people in what seems an extreme over-reaction. Will TTIP turn into the next ACTA revolt?"

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Silly Peasants (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 months ago | (#47042133)

Expecting government to be accountable to you, and stuff.

Re:Silly Peasants (0, Troll)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47042343)

Expecting government to be accountable to you, and stuff.

They are accountable. When the negotiations are done, each country can either accept it or reject it through a democratic process. The whole point of these trade agreements is to gain broad economic advantages instead of narrow special interests, protectionism, and subsidies. Opening up the negotiating process would allow all those vested interests and rent seekers to apply pressure to preserve their privileges, and end up sabotaging the process. That is exactly what happened with the Doha negotiations, that have dragged on for 13 years, and achieved nothing. These protesters portray themselves to be representing the interests of the "common people" when the truth is the exact opposite.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 months ago | (#47042509)

What planet were you on, again? The protesters may be scenery, but

When the negotiations are done, each country can either accept it or reject it through a democratic process.

Seems kinda funny. Heh.

Re:Silly Peasants (1, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 months ago | (#47042549)

Well, I don't know what country he is talking about, but here in the good ol' US o' A, we have a Republic, not a Democracy.

If we can keep it.

Re:Silly Peasants (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47042723)

we have a Republic, not a Democracy. If we can keep it.

A republic [wikipedia.org] is a country that is not a monarchy. Whether a country is a republic or not is orthogonal to whether it is a democracy.

Examples of countries that are republics:
The United States of America
North Korea
China
France
Germany
Cuba

Examples of countries that are NOT republics:
Canada
Saudi Arabia
Japan
Britain
Norway

I think the term you are looking for is "representative democracy", which may be either a republic or a monarchy.

Re:Silly Peasants (5, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 2 months ago | (#47042857)

I think the term you are looking for is "representative democracy", which may be either a republic or a monarchy.

yeah...a "representative democracy" the way choosing Coke or Pepsi counts as selecting your favorite beverage.

with the two-party stranglehold its neither a democracy nor representative.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 2 months ago | (#47042883)

Representative democracy is a nonsense term used to placate stupid Americans. A republic is a nation of written law, which I'm guessing the OP was referring to. In a proper republic, the written law is what is followed and if there's ambiguity, the ambiguous parts are ignored until they are fixed. In a republic, judges are not allowed to make "case law" unless they're explicitly given that right in the written law, in which case case law would become written law and the term "case law" wouldn't be necessary, since it would simply be law period.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 2 months ago | (#47043567)

So the United States of America is not a republic? It was founded on common law principles and things like contract law still exist mainly as case law. You're thinking of the difference between common law jurisdictions and civil law jurisdictions.

Re:Silly Peasants (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#47042947)

From your link:
A republic is a form of government in which power resides in the people, and the government is ruled by elected leaders run according to law, rather than inherited or appointed

Kim Jong Un replaced his father. Castro is expected to be succeeded by a family member without vote as well. Yet you listed both of those as "republics". I think "not monarchy" is too narrow. The power comes from the people (democracy), not divine (monarchies) or guns (dictatorships). Your definition would have violent dictatorships listed as "power by the people", which doesn't sound quite right. And Canada is tuled by elected leaders and run according to law. So again, your take disagrees with the statements within your cite.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

Jamie McGuigan (3609129) | about 2 months ago | (#47043379)

George Bush Jr replaced his father George Bush Sr. after Bill Clinton took bat for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton was only narrowly beaten by Obama on the subsequent Democrat turn, though Secretary of State does put her incharge of foreign policy. Maybe its just a statistical glitch, but while the mechanism is democracy, the result for the last 25 years has actually been two alternating US dynasties.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#47043505)

Don't forget the Kennedy dynasty. And Hillary may run next time, so don't count her out yet.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043305)

Wrong, so wrong, please stop. We are a "constitutional republic" - we have no unelected monarchy - but we also have a constitution that explicitly enumerates central (federal) powers". The fact that about 80% of federal law actually has no basis in the constitution and is hence ILLEGAL is irrelevant to your current point.

Spying on other nations is not part of our constitution - it is a military requirement/doctrine - the NSA is a pentagon office. SIGINT - fine. But there is no such enumeration of power granted to the feds from our constitution -ergo when they do it here, it's illegal. it's not even treason - thats a very specific term in the US. NSA operating in side the USA is just the same as armed federal forces living in your house! There is no grounds for it anywhere in the powers we the people gave the U.S government.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47043627)

You are confusing a type of Government with what someone chooses to call themselves. I'd suggest starting at reading the US Constitution followed by the definition of a Republican type of Government. Long ago we were a Republic, which if you really want to learn something go read Plato's book by the same name. We were very much formed in the image Socrates gives in that book for a perfect form of Government. Corruption happens, and by definition we are now either an Oligarchy or Despotism (depending on which scholars you read)

I'm not just being pedantic, this is very basic information that people _should_ be learning in elementary school along with critical thinking skills. You know, skill like being able to realize that someone is bullshitting you by calling themselves a Republic while acting like a Dictatorship... *sigh*

Re:Silly Peasants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044019)

You have a federation over there. Many states, with their own laws. The states choose the FEDERAL government. I guess you can also call it a republic federation, as none of the states have monarchs. But that is kinda besides the point. You also have a representative democracy, not a direct one(nobody has, the swiss are closest at this point I think). Republic just means the head honcho is just a normal citizen instead the defacto ruler because his father was. ( You are actually not doing very well in this regard, as you have some "ruler" class families, like aristocracy )

Re:Silly Peasants (4, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47042563)

You and I have a vastly different idea of the democratic process.. I mean if we dont know whats in it, and cannot vote on it, then there is no democratic process involved.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47042677)

You and I have a vastly different idea of the democratic process.. I mean if we dont know whats in it, and cannot vote on it, then there is no democratic process involved.

The fact is that in the U.S., the process is supposed to be kind of democratic, but in practice since Bush and Obama have been in office, it has taken a pretty big hit.

There are three things at issue here. The first is that while it has not been definitively decided by courts, it is generally asknowledged that treaties do not trump the Constitution in regard to internal matters. The second is that treaties have to be ratified by the Senate before they are legal. (Of course, when the Constitution was written, the Senate more directly represented the States.) The third thing to consider is that in recent years these trade agreement talks have been taking place in secrecy in order to give The People no way to let their Senators know what they think about it.

So yeah, it is kind of a democratic process. But our Federal government has done its best to minimize the democracy part.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47043641)

I agree with everything except your time line. The process has been breaking more and more every year since Nixon. I'm sure it has been deteriorating longer, but I lack hard evidence to back that. I can assure you that even Reagan was a turd, just look at his executive orders and "accomplishments". Outside of the Soviet break up (which would have happened anyway) he did more damage than Nixon could ever have dreamed of. The joke called "Trickle Down" being one of the most asinine things, I have every heard anyone say (and sadly idiots fall for this trash).

Re:Silly Peasants (4, Interesting)

geezer nerd (1041858) | about 2 months ago | (#47042679)

The same kind of process is currently on-going with respect to the TPPA (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement). Negotiations have been going on behind closed doors for years. Only a few leaks give a hint as to what is coming.

So far, the leaks indicate that the US has let loose the corporate dogs, particularly in big Pharma and Agriculture, to snarl and threaten the peaceful existence of the smaller countries involved.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47042773)

I mean if we dont know whats in it, and cannot vote on it, then there is no democratic process involved.

Nonsense. You don't know what's in "it" because there is no "it" yet. Once the treaty is negotiated, anyone can read it, and it is up to each country to accept or reject it with whatever process they wish. There is long history of these treaties, and the ONLY way to reach an agreement is through fast track negotiations. An open process allows vested special interests to nitpick, stall, and pressure. Without a fast track process, most countries won't even bother to participate, because the chance of success is negligible.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042843)

The thing you are missing is that, for the most part, these types of negotiations are done by appointees who are not answerable to the public. They take the guidance of the "experts" in the subject matter who just happen to be corporate flunkies. For example, is it really in the best interest of the population of the united states that copyright be strengthened? Probably not - yet the US Chamber of Commerce, which has a strong influence in these sorts of negotiations, has historically been the guiding hand for these aspects of the negotiations. Sure, they push the agenda that is good for US business interests but that does not necessarily coincide with what is in the best interests of the public. You make these negotiations sound as if they are all about what is best for the public when in most cases the negotiations turn out results like ACTA.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042915)

HAHAHAHA.

The fast track processes allows vested special interests to get what they want without scrutiny. An open process lets us know what the special interests are pushing so it can be challenged.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47043211)

By that logic, why don't we have secret elections? Just go through the process of selecting candidates and platforms without letting all of the vested special interests pressuring them, and then the people can dedice which of the preselected candidates to vote for.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

cryptolemur (1247988) | about 2 months ago | (#47044405)

I a perfect, "special interest free", scenario we'd only get to accept or reject a whole preselected parliament, or senate, or whatever institute does the democracy theater in your country.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 months ago | (#47044457)

You're talking about direct democracy, where you have an influence on specific issues by voting specifically for / against them. This is not how our government (US, UK, almost all democracies) works. You elect parties which are aligned to your political interests, and they in turn propose and support political agenda which are aligned with their policies.

Sadly, both US parties are in the pockets of the same financial sponsors, so good luck getting any kind of democratic representation without serious reforms.

Re:Silly Peasants (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47042709)

The whole point of these trade agreements is to gain broad economic advantages instead of narrow special interests, protectionism, and subsidies. Opening up the negotiating process would allow all those vested interests and rent seekers to apply pressure to preserve their privileges, and end up sabotaging the process.

You are hopelessly naive.

In practice, these "trade agreements" (like SOPA, for a good example) have been notoriously wide open to special interests, but closed to the public. In fact, public interest groups (like EFF and others) ended up finding out about any of them because of leaks by industry, not the government.

Whatever "the point" is, it most definitely has not been done that way.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47042827)

s/any of them/many of them

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47042837)

In practice, these "trade agreements" (like SOPA, for a good example) ...

SOPA was not a trade agreement. In fact, it was not even an international agreement, or even a proposed international agreement, of any kind. You might want to look for a better "good example".

Re:Silly Peasants (5, Informative)

ausrob (864993) | about 2 months ago | (#47043031)

OK, how about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)? Or the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? There are more examples, but hopefully you get the point. Even proposed US laws like PIPA/SOPA and current laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) can make their way into other countries by way of other seemingly unrelated economic trade agreements. For example, Australia has adopted DMCA like provisions as part of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA - incidentally modeled on NAFTA) between 2004-2006.

Re:Silly Peasants (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#47044359)

Now that is in fact a pretty accurate statement. The TTIP, TPP, SOPA et al pretty much where all not trade agreements but all pretty much conspiratorial corporate takeovers of the democratic process, basically, touching treason as they hard government representatives acting against the interests of the citizens in favour of multi-national corporations, 'er' persons (corporate bullshit thing) who are citizens of no country and owe allegiance to no nation.

The fear the internet and what it is doing to re-democratise nations and are looking to lock in corporate autocracy. This prior to us putting justice back into the system and hanging those mother fuckers high, well, actually confiscation of illegally gained assets from gross tax and extreme evasion and applying appropriate imprisonment for many and varied corporate crimes.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 months ago | (#47042845)

They are accountable. When the negotiations are done, each country can either accept it or reject it through a democratic process.

Votes by elected representatives = Republic
An actual democratic process would involve a national referendum.

Of course, the idea of the public voting terrifies the type of people who write these treaties,
because it's so easy for the public to latch onto any one aspect and torpedo the entire thing.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 2 months ago | (#47043623)

Votes by elected representatives = Republic

Huh? I live in a monarchy, it is still voted on by elected representatives who are the government. The head of state then rubber stamps it. There are republics that are dictatorships as well, no elected representatives or sham ones.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042873)

They are accountable. When the negotiations are done, each country can either accept it or reject it through a democratic process.

Sounds a lot like the choices are rigged, and you can chose from candidate/policy a) or b) that were both preselected for you. Democratic process my ass.

The whole point of these trade agreements is to gain broad economic advantages instead of narrow special interests, protectionism, and subsidies.

Which is why the discussions should be open. Private meetings IS narrow special interests and protectionism.

Opening up the negotiating process would allow all those vested interests and rent seekers to apply pressure to preserve their privileges, and end up sabotaging the process.

No, having private meetings sabotages the democratic process, and all you are left with is vested interests and rent seekers applying pressure to preserve their privileges. You are either thoroughly misled, or handsomely paid for spreading lies.

These protesters portray themselves to be representing the interests of the "common people" when the truth is the exact opposite.

Where is the proof that these meetings represent the interests of the "common people" ? The truth is that secret meetings do not represent common people.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042919)

If the negotiations are secret, then we don't actually know whether or not any special interest groups are applying political pressure during them. It might be that the secrecy is actually serving to protect exactly those special interests from the scrutiny of the public.

Of course, it might be exactly as you say: the secrecy is being used to keep the special interests out.

The problem is...since it is secret, we simply don't know which way it is. This is exactly why democratic processes need to be public; keeping them public is the only way to know for sure what special interests are represented.

In any event, peaceful protest is also an important component of a democratic process, and taking police action against peaceful protestors is a telltale sign of non-democratic government corruption at work.

Re:Silly Peasants (5, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47043171)

If you want to have broad economic advantages, you have a free trade agreement. A free trade agreement is simple. We let the people trade and we don't interfere. These agreements are to dangle the economic importance of free trade on a string to extort.
Sure is a nice economy you have there. It would be a shame is suddenly everyone were to stop allowing your goods into our country. Why don't we have a nice talk over here about some changes you're going to love.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 months ago | (#47043223)

each country can either accept it or reject it through a democratic process.

no, sorry. firstly, countries don't accept or reject things, PEOPLE IN POWER in those countries do.

secondly, well, fuck it, we all know that we lose when it comes to private deals, big money and big spying.

we lost. we will always lose. david won't win against goliath; only in story books does that happen.

yes, we're fucked.

Re:Silly Peasants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043325)

This is me giving you the middle finger.

Re:Silly Peasants (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47043605)

Wait, so you mean to tell me that everything will be disclosed? If it's all going to be disclosed then the negotiations should be available for public scrutiny. Waiting for something like this to be voted on before review is shear idiocy (just like the Patriot Act where all the politicians yell "Surprise! Now bend over!"). I do hope the peasants get their pitchforks out and start hanging politicians for this kind of thing. I mean, it's not like the politicians livelihoods are getting shafted, they continue to rake in more and more money every year due to deregulation and even open bribery. And "No!" I'm not referring just to the US.

Any and all of the countries involved in TTIP should have concerned citizens. Unfortunately it's not just the US that is "out of control" currently, because everyone in the EU and "Friendly" countries are playing the same game at the expense of their own people too. I do realize that many people in the UK realize they are just as corrupt as the US today.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 2 months ago | (#47044217)

The whole purpose of these treaties are to carve out new opportunities for special interests and rent seekers to harvest wealth from the small folk like you and me. Whatever you think of the benefits of free trade, these treaties are created to prevent it, and for no other reason.

Re:Silly Peasants (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 months ago | (#47044479)

If ACTA is anything to go by, I'm not at all convinced about these "broad economic advantages"; ACTA was full of advantages for narrow special interests, and they weren't our interests.

The problem with secret negotiations is political realities: once a compromise has been reached, it is pretty much set in stone: no one will want to go back to the table to propose further amendments (effectively restarting the negotiation), and no government who was involved in the proceedings will agree to the deal and then allow it to tank in their national democratic process. Besides, most of the countries involved have no democratic process to directly influence the acceptance or rejection of trade agreements. The government has already been appointed, usually with a house majority, and in most cases a ratification will sail through with perhaps a couple of rider bills to get the opposition to agree.

Open negotiations however provide more democratic control, especially over nasty rider bills in the treaty itself. If you know what is being negotiated, protesters and voters can at least tell their governments: "We will not ever allow you to agree to that part".

SPIRIT OF 1848 (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 months ago | (#47042485)

We need a few more of 1789, too...

They feed you bullshit about "reign of terror"...

What of the terror that lasted under these estates, from late Roman times, through the so called "Enlightenment"?

Re:SPIRIT OF 1848 (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 months ago | (#47042523)

I daresay were headed toward re-living it.

Re:SPIRIT OF 1848 (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 months ago | (#47042665)

be-headed towards...

Protests were Illegal. (4, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47042153)

The law in Belgium states that it is illegal to hold public protests without authorisation from the municipality.

The video on this site, shows the round-up, and it seems, VERY VERY controlled and peaceful on both sides.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ttip-... [ibtimes.co.uk]

Nice people, the Belgish...

Re:Protests were Illegal. (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47042183)

I like what's printed on the back of their jackets "Police Politie". I take that to mean polite policeman :^)

But yea, forming a human chain in front of the building got the protesters arrested.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47042239)

I see the smiley, but in case someone else misses it -- it's just their bilingual logo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

WoOS (28173) | about 2 months ago | (#47042313)

Actually it is Dutch and means Police [google.com] . Belgium is half french-speaking half dutch-speaking.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 2 months ago | (#47042413)

what about the Flemish?? they don'tt speak Dutch of French.. well they can but Flemish is a language in it's own right

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 months ago | (#47042567)

Yeah. And Nedderdüütsch.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (2)

Zombie (8332) | about 2 months ago | (#47044123)

Wow, you guys could have googled that.

The Flemish, who make up 60% of the population (not 50% as grandparent claims), speak Dutch. The existence of local variants in the language are no basis for a claim that there a multiple languages. Otherwise you'd have very few English speakers in the world.

Belgium is a trilingual country; there is a small population of German speakers.

Brussels is a bilingual region. It is geographically located in the Dutch-speaking Flanders, historically Flemish and Dutch speaking, but currently more an international city.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 2 months ago | (#47044157)

Wow, you guys could have googled that.

The Flemish, who make up 60% of the population (not 50% as grandparent claims), speak Dutch. The existence of local variants in the language are no basis for a claim that there a multiple languages. Otherwise you'd have very few English speakers in the world.

Belgium is a trilingual country; there is a small population of German speakers.

Brussels is a bilingual region. It is geographically located in the Dutch-speaking Flanders, historically Flemish and Dutch speaking, but currently more an international city.

tell that to the Vlaams and see how long your balls last...LOL

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 2 months ago | (#47044399)

You mean the "Vlamingen"?

To be fair, though, I like the Flemish dialect more than standard Dutch. More refined.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

GNious (953874) | about 2 months ago | (#47044611)

Belgium, the state, is mono-lingual - I've yet to get ANYTHING (even on request) from the state, national rail, phone-companies, hospitals or much of anyone else in anything but French.

Heck, even the local hospital here in Brussels have everything in French, with a few (random?) signs also duplicated in Dutch and in smaller letters.

I even tried to sign up for things specifically in Flanderen - when stuff then gets sent to me in Brussels, it is in French.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47042203)

Sprouts or Phlegms.

Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (5, Informative)

WoOS (28173) | about 2 months ago | (#47042277)

Yes, if you look at the first video on http://www.ttip2014.eu/blog-de... [ttip2014.eu] around 0:20 you will see in the background a protestor holding out his hand to get it tight. Looks to me extremely civilized from both side. I don't see any overreaction. And if - possibly - the protest was unauthorized, participants might be offered a trip to the next police station for IDing. Civil disobidience has its price.

And now before the US side claims that there is no freedom in Europe if protests need to be authorized: If authorization is denied, you can sue against it on a quick track. That's the reason why even the extreme right, which most people would like to deny protesting rights, can do it again and again.

So TTIP might be bad and all but exagerating things just to prolong the attention (Protest was already last Thursday) is not the way to go.

Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 months ago | (#47042331)

Even in the US protests have some constraints. Not on private property, no disruption of over people, etc.

The right to protest is in our constitution, but it is a right whether a government supports it or not. It's simply that some governments punish protestors more vigorously than others. We all remember pepper spray cop, even here where protesting is "allowed".

Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 months ago | (#47042363)

And you can't murder anyone.

Oh wait, that's already illegal. As is mucking about on other people's property and a bunch of other actions that are generally dickish in nature.

It's like we don't need special rules about what is and is not a "protest" because it shouldn't fucking matter and the "free speech zone" includes all of the USA.

Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#47042993)

Even in the US protests have some constraints. Not on private property, no disruption of over people, etc.

Only in "free speech" zones, and all that. There's nothing "illegal" about having a protest on private property. The difference is that on private property, the owner can request you leave. But nothing that prevents you from holding a protest on your own private property or someone else's with permission (or even without permission, in some cases). But the government is working on banning protests, especially in areas where it's inconvenient.

Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 2 months ago | (#47043391)

I seem to remember "Protest zones" in the USA.

Re:Protests were Illegal (and last Thursday) (1)

Calydor (739835) | about 2 months ago | (#47044575)

no disruption of over people

Was that an intended typo or a Freudian slip?

Re:Protests were Illegal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042467)

Whatever.. the government supposedly works for the citizenry.. they need to be doxxed and their families outed.

You know, motherfuckers wouldn't be so brazen if they always had to worry about being held accountable for their actions.. or their children being held accountable for their actions.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043359)

The law in Belgium states that it is illegal to hold public protests without authorisation from the municipality.

The video on this site, shows the round-up, and it seems, VERY VERY controlled and peaceful on both sides.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ttip-... [ibtimes.co.uk]

Nice people, the Belgish...

Always nice when the guy with a gun to your head is willing to put in a little lube first.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 months ago | (#47044297)

The law in Belgium states that it is illegal to hold public protests without authorisation from the municipality.

I guess introducing a law that requires citizens to jump off the bridges would sort that all out.

After all, laws should not be questioned or disobeyed. Ever. Because they are there to protect you.

Re:Protests were Illegal. (1)

abies (607076) | about 2 months ago | (#47044573)

Yes, they are. You can complain only if protests are forbidden routinely regardless of request for authorization - but it is not happening, absolute majority of protests is allowed.
Rules for registration make perfect sense - quite often, you have two antagonist groups protesting (pro-gay and ultra-right-wing for example) on same day in same city. Thanks to authorization, city can make sure they will remain separate and put extra police in places they might meet.

Now, in some imaginary Europe where you would need to ask for permission to protest and it would be routinely denied, it could be a problem. But it is not a case. And police is not pepper-spraying people just for fun, like in some countries where you don't need to ask for permission to protest...

The Secrecy Sucks (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#47042157)

has been negotiated behind closed doors for nearly a year now

There is no excuse for the closed door policy. This is an agreement that could affect hundreds of millions of people, but they're not allowed to know what's going on? It'll be dumped in a "take it or leave it" form. Congress and parliaments openly debate bills, why the secrecy here? Because they're afraid that people will object to certain provisions? Good. It's the right of people to know how agreements that will affect them are being negotiated. Would that make the agreemnet impossible to agree on? Tough, that'll be because it's an agreement people don't want. Try again. Sorry if the democracy stuff makes your lives harder.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47042245)

Numerous Senate and Congressional meetings occur behind closed doors.

We're hardly fully transparent.

Translucent on a good day...

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47042395)

Yes indeed.

And the fact that Western power brokers allow their respective populaces the illusion of choice (suffrage),

encourages me that they don't believe they can just take what they want. Yet.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043407)

translucent enough to see the glow of cigars between sips of scotch and laughter at the rest of us. at least it proves that they show up to work from time to time...

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47042251)

not familiar with EU policy: Do the member states have to ratify stuff like this through direct popular vote? Or is it like the US where our elected keepers will push it through without any regards to public opinion or the best interests of their constituents?

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 months ago | (#47042299)

Time was when Ireland and a handfull of other countries did have to ratify some stuff by popular vote, but Ireland recently gave away that right. 2 or 3 times Ireland voted no on various steps towards the European superstate but the local politicians just re-ran the election when they didn't get the answer they wanted. See Nice Treaty, Lisbon Treaty

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 months ago | (#47042471)

See Nice Treaty, Lisbon Treaty

See also the Not-So-Nice treaty.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 months ago | (#47042819)

No Ireland still gets to vote on issues which would amend the Irish constitution, that continues to remain in force and was mostly the reason we got a vote on these treaties in the first place as I recall. The politicians can agree to whatever they want but if it means changing a word of Bunreacht na hEireann they have to run it by the people first. Which while awesome is mostly used by the population to strategically force the politicians to get a better deal rather than specifically opting out of European affairs.

I think the powers that be in the EU were either talking about or had enacted measures so that only a majority of countries needed to ratify treaties or something out of bitterness at the rampant and unchecked democracy in Ireland. Still, they wouldn't survive a constitutional challenge even if the government agreed to them.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044469)

not familiar with EU policy: Do the member states have to ratify stuff like this through direct popular vote?

Depends on what's written in the treaty. ACTA contained a few sections about criminal law which would have automatically required another round of ratification in all member states if it passed through European Parliament. A single "NO" from any member state would shoot the treaty down for the entire EU. But EU has the power to pass treaties that only affect trade law without asking any member states or citizens for their opinion. And from what I've heard, TTIP negotiators are trying very hard to stay within bounds of what the EU can shove down our throats on its own. So the vote in European parliament will be the only obstacle in their way this time.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 months ago | (#47042297)

Congress and parliaments openly debate bills,

Only after they have gone through committees and had a lot of "behind closed doors" discussions. This agreement will be debated by every government that needs to enact it.

It'll be dumped in a "take it or leave it" form.

There is a third option; send it back for revision.

why the secrecy here?

Do you really think is is a good idea for every proposal or wording to be debated in the open? Most of these idea/proposals will not make it into the final draft yet having to publicly defend them will just distract from the work at hand.

Because they're afraid that people will object to certain provisions that never get into the final draft.

FTFY

The problem with public review of every proposal is that it stifles creativity. Try having a creative discussion when every proposal must be perfect before it is presented. It does not work.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042335)

The problem with public review of every proposal is that it stifles creativity.

I'm 100% okay with stifling the "creativity" of these government thugs. 99% of the time they're trying to take away our rights; their "creativity" won't be missed.

Though, your statement is a load of bullshit to begin with. Public debate can and should be part of the process. Always. That's what it means to live in a free & open society. Do you honestly think it's okay for these scumbags to be debating legislation behind closed doors, getting bribed by industry assholes, and for people to have no real idea what's happening? I don't.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47042507)

Congress and parliaments openly debate bills,

Only after they have gone through committees and had a lot of "behind closed doors" discussions. This agreement will be debated by every government that needs to enact it.

Debated as a take it or leave it proposition. No real debate. No chance to change it.

It'll be dumped in a "take it or leave it" form.

There is a third option; send it back for revision.

No option to send it back. This is a truly "take it or leave it" question.

why the secrecy here?

Do you really think is is a good idea for every proposal or wording to be debated in the open? Most of these idea/proposals will not make it into the final draft yet having to publicly defend them will just distract from the work at hand.

Because the peasants might have objections and the peasants are always a distraction.
Corporations, OTOH, have the inside track to get their proposals in place without distraction.

Because they're afraid that people will object to certain provisions that never get into the final draft.

FTFY

The problem with public review of every proposal is that it stifles creativity. Try having a creative discussion when every proposal must be perfect before it is presented. It does not work.

Yes, it's certainly much more "creative" to just have the corporations and bureaucrats write the agreement.
Those peasants are too creative and just gum up the works.

Re:The Secrecy Sucks (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 months ago | (#47042597)

There is no excuse for the closed door policy. This is an agreement that could affect hundreds of millions of people, but they're not allowed to know what's going on?

I've long come to the conclusion that any law/treaty/etc that's discussed in closed door locations should probably be ignored by the population at large. After all, it's not being discussed in the spirit of a free and open society, why should society pay heed to such a law.

You want hitlers to rise to power (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042225)

Because this is how you git hitlers to rise to power.

Re:You want hitlers to rise to power (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042579)

No, Hitler got to power because the US was funding nazis.

Oh wait..

Re:You want hitlers to rise to power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042731)

No, Hitler got to power because the US was funding nazis.

Oh wait..

Sounds like the 'same old song with a few new lines'...

Move to step 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042261)

Step 1: peacefully assemble and deliver the message that these laws have objectionable contents and that the secretive way in which they are being enacted is an attack by big money upon normal people

Step 2: peacefully break these laws by pirating massive amounts of material while utilizing methods which minimize or eliminate the possibility of being caught. Teach friends, neighbours, classmates and family members how to pirate using methods which minimize or eliminate the possibility of being caught.

Re:Move to step 2 (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 2 months ago | (#47043139)

If I thought your "step 2" would have any negative impact on the media companies, I'd be all in favor of it. Your "step 1" has a lot more effect than your "step 2", which is just used as an excuse for more repressive laws.

More effective would be to publish the home address of their secretaries. (They probably have their own homes already protected.)

Belgian police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042279)

They are probably one of the most experienced unit in the world when it comes to handling protests, having worked and lived in Brussels there are protest constantly, at least once or twice a week, it is after all the focal point of European decision making.
However they can also come down fast and hard, with that many protests going on you can be sure than some at least will degenerate towards riots.
When i was student in the 90s we had a series of protest about some reform of the university system, most of those protests were peaceful but when the police had to act they used every means to strike hard and fast, including executing pincers movement with water canons on one side and police horses charging on the other side........

Belgian police (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042487)

After checking some local newspaper: the protest was allowed, but the protester did go outside of the previously allowed area automatically enticing a police action. However the videos i have seen look like the matter was handled in a very professional and controlled manner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sff3GjtSZRw

Every Frickin' Time! (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47042315)

We try to have these other governments over, and you goddamn kids can't act right for even one night.

Water Cannons (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042389)

an increasing number of leaks indeed.

Isn't it obvious? (3, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47042431)

USA media companies want to make copyright infringement an extraditable offence in all the signing countries, so they don't have to go through the pain they're having with Kim Dotcom.

First time I read the English acronym (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042441)

I didn't even know what it's called in English! known as "Grand Marché Transatlantique" here. But we vaguely know what's coming, mainly that big corporations will be allowed to sue sovereign states so that they can overrule the rule of law.. which is ridiculous, but we should know we can't write off things because they sound so stupid and ridiculous and "they'd never dare do that".

I'm sure a lot of media bickering will be done regarding what hormones can be in food or such and such old issues. About the only real piece of news was about one year ago when France "stood up" to the Man and got Culture exempted - i.e. books, television, movies etc. Like accepting the rest does not matter! All that France, EU, US have won is there will be less opposition from celebrities, writers, artists etc.

But as I said it's not what we have to care about. "Officially" that TTIP is set to come online by 2015. For all I care it's the date that European Union will become a dictatorship. I didn't thought that would come so early.
Of note is that European elections (for the "parliament") are this Sunday, so be sure to show up at the vote! DON'T vote for a party that supports that thing (even if simply by omission), or is actively "negociating" it while never communicating about it at all. Don't vote for a mainstream "socialist" party, they're selling themselves and selling you to oligarchical interests. e.g. maybe it's a better idea to vote "Die Linke" than "SPD".
If you don't want to vote left-wing please vote for a right-wing non-nazi party or list that say negative stuff about the treaty or Europe in general.

Be careful what you are posting here (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 2 months ago | (#47042571)

all your anti-government rants are probably being recorded by the NSA.

Being that said, there is one golden rule in any political duel:

The enemy of your enemy is ALWAYS your fiend

Re:Be careful what you are posting here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042701)

all your anti-government rants are probably being recorded by the NSA.

Being that said, there is one golden rule in any political duel:

The enemy of your enemy is ALWAYS your fiend

Perhaps your misspelling of "friend" was a simple Freudian slip, or perhaps not. Regardless, your thesis is likely not wrong.

Re:Be careful what you are posting here (1)

LaughingRadish (2694765) | about 2 months ago | (#47043925)

More often than not, the enemy of your enemy is just another enemy.

Re:Be careful what you are posting here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044215)

"We were just ROLEPLAYING."

Oh shit, partyvan?

Water Cannons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042581)

an increasing number of leaks.......I see what you did there.

If you don't water the hippies.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042717)

They will wilt and die.

Re:If you don't water the hippies.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043705)

This was all a devious plot to give them a bath.

TTIP is the next ACTA, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042979)

... let's hope so! The pirates in EU managed to rally support and stop it the last time, remember to vote pirate in the elections this week!

Post should be more tech-related (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043061)

We could make this topic a lot more tech related. Like discussing if 3D printers can be used to make guillotines.

For entertainment purposes only, of course.

Thankfully that couldn't happen here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043115)

Because the American people are armed to the teeth.

Zzzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043481)

Your article mentioned water cannon (not lethal weaponry) wielded against people from one acronym I'd never heard of, and invited me to wonder whether this was the next revolt of another unfamiliar acronym.

You might want to choose a more vertical outlet if you wish to inspire outrage.

It is not on behalf of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044577)

It is on behalf of those that wrote it and paid the politicos to support it - US (primarily) corporations.

TTIP not just a free trade agreement, according to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044661)

http://www.clingendael.nl/publication/geopolitics-ttip
See PDF.
This kind of political/economic/military power block thinking brought us 2 world wars already.

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