TPPA protestors take to Nelson’s streets

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Protestors held banners along Whakatu Dr this morning as a cheeky looking “John Key” weaved his way through them waving at cars and jumping over the concrete highway barrier.

The stunt was part of a protest movement in Nelson against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Faith Downey, Graeme O'Brian and Sara Cooper encourage cars to toot in support of their TPPA Protest. PHOTO Jacob Chandler
Faith Downey, Graeme O’Brian and Sara Cooper encourage cars to toot in support of their TPPA Protest.
PHOTO: Jacob Chandler

Protestor Graeme O’Brian says the main focus of the group is opposition to the investor state disputes settlement.

“We don’t want to open ourselves up to being sued by corporations and governments,” he says. “We need to be able to regulate in the public interest regardless to the profits of corporations.”

He says it has been difficult to make people aware of what the TPPA is all about and believes it wont help future generations.

“Now that it’s in mainstream media, it’s not just us pushing it through facebook and through our networks, a lot more people become aware,” he says. “I personally hope that we’re wrong. I’d like to see an agreement that’s fantastic for New Zealand but until you show me I’ll be protesting it.”

The protestors strung a sign up on the Whakatu Dr overpass. PHOTO: Jacob Chandler
The protestors strung a sign up on the Whakatu Dr overpass.
PHOTO: Jacob Chandler

The protestors say they have had a great reaction from drivers with many tooting their horns in support of the group as they drove past. They also strung a large banner from the Whakatu Drive overpass bridge.

A larger protest rally will be held Saturday at 1908 Square near the church steps.

“There are four of us today but there will be about 400 of us on Saturday the 15th of August,” Graeme says. “Vote with your feet and show the government that we really are against it.”