Sunday 22 September saw the launch of a new product on the steps of the Victorian Parliament: Corporate Strength GATS. Faceless bureaucrats pretending to be FoE activists demonstrated the new product’s ability to scrub away democracy in the twinkling of an eye:
The group was initially spotted assembling near Treasury Gardens, before making their way up to Parliament House. At the sight of the mops and buckets, a bus-load of police who had been lurking around a corner, disappeared, leaving only three colleagues to hold the fort:
After the official speeches launching the new product, the party moved down to the Bourke Street Mall, distributing special introductory postcards and leaflets to shoppers, before staging a repeat performance outside a certain department store:
On a more serious note, the media release from Friends of the Earth notes that this action is part of a campaign to raise awareness of the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which “will have crucial implications for the daily lives and living environment of people all over the world. The provision of water, public health and education are just a few of the essential public services threatened by GATS.”
For more information on GATS and Friends of the Earth, visit the FoE website: http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au.