Spanish CETA Protests Shows Fight Over Agreement Far From Over

Developments over the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) may have slowed down, but the battle is far from dead and gone.

Last month, Canada passed the implementation of CETA. Known as Bill C-30, the passage was seen by some as an end point for the debate on the agreement in Canada. In the weeks since, there have been few known developments surrounding the agreement.

Last week, however, protests erupted in Spain. RT noted the developments, saying that hundreds of activists from over 400 unions hit the streets to show defiance about the agreement. Video footage of the protest was also posted:

TeleSUR also reported on the protests, saying that protesters are hoping to put pressure on the Spanish government to not implement the agreement. From the report:

Hundreds marched from Madrid’s largest railway station, Atocha, to the Congress of Deputies – which is scheduled to vote on CETA later in June.

People from over 400 trade unions and social organizations took part in the protest to demand that the Spanish Government block the free trade deal. Some demonstrators displayed placards which read, “Democracy and public services are not sold but defended,” and “Against Europe of inequalities.”

While others carried anti-CETA banners accompanied by tractors from farmers and ranchers’ organization. There were even signs with: “Stop TTIP,” referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the U.S. TTIP, which has also been met with fierce public criticism, bears some similarities to CETA.

Ecologists in Action representative, Francesca Ricciardi, told Ruptly that CETA was “All for the benefit of trade, but of course, to the detriment of citizens’ rights, we are talking about respect for environmental standards, respect for trade union rights… basic rights of the people.”

Following seven years of negotiations, the bloc voted in favor of CETA, ignoring widespread protests across Europe.

While Canada did implement the agreement, numerous copyright provisions that are in the agreement were not implemented. This came to digital rights activists. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only thing Canada steered clear of. Patent law provisions, environmental policies, and ISDS provisions continues to draw concerns from activists in other sectors.

So, it seems that while things have quieted down as of late, the fight over the agreement is far from over. Opponents of the agreement are showing that they are more than capable and willing to fight this to the very end.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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