It’s a familiar scene–tanned bros in tanks tops double-fisting beers, buzzed groups of friends crowding around selfie sticks, and the distant throb of decent music.
Summer concert season is upon us.
A lot of the big-name festivals are great because they give us a chance to relax and blow off some steam. However, sometimes it’s nice to go to an event that looks to make a difference, a place where we can jam out while uniting around a common cause. Sounds empowering, right?
For the socially conscious, this summer’s hottest ticket is Rock Against the TPP. The lineup is sick–it includes Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Lost alum Evangeline Lilly, Jolie Holland, Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba, and others. The tour is focused on building awareness of the looming threat posed by the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. And it’s not just artists who care–organizations like Fight for the Future, the Sierra Club, and ExpressVPN are throwing in their support as well.
Why Is the TPP Bad?
As ExpressVPN has written on multiple occasions, the TPP is a disastrous trade agreement negotiated in secret by 12 countries, including the United States. Corporate lobbyists had a huge amount of influence on the agreement. Unsurprisingly, there are some provisions that we should all be very worried about.
Most terrifying is a set of new intellectual property rules that could limit how hundreds of millions of people share information on the Internet. The rules enshrined in the treaty are far more stringent than any existing international agreement. Wikipedia has come out against the deal because it enforces extremely long copyright terms.
Other activist movements are concerned as well. Labor rights groups are worried about potential lost jobs for manufacturers, environmentalists say the deal could lead to an increase in fracking around the world, and food safety experts are concerned about the lack of scrutiny imported foodstuffs will be subjected to.
What Can You Do to Stop the TPP?
Although leaders of the 12 countries involved have already signed the trade agreement, they still need to get it ratified. In the case of the U.S., that means getting congressional approval. Word on the Hill is that the Obama administration will try to take advantage of the lame-duck session of Congress following November’s election.
Tell your congressman what you think. Sign Rock Against the TPP’s petition. Post on social media with the hashtag #RockAgainstTheTPP to help spread the message and get other voters mobilized. And if you can, attend a Rock Against the TPP tour stop to rock out and learn more.
Will you be going to a Rock Against the TPP gig? Perhaps you’ll find some like-minded Internet savvy rockers by leaving a comment below!