(NaturalNews) In recent months, before the charitable medical organization Doctors Without Borders was in the news for having one of its clinics bombed in Afghanistan, reports noted that the group was opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive 12-nation “free trade” treaty that is on the cusp of finally being approved by all parties.
The trade pact, which involves the U.S., Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries, is high on President Obama’s final term “to-do list,” as his administration has been negotiating it for the past five years.
As Natural News has previously reported, we are opposed to the deal because: 1) it would likely ban GMO labeling laws in the U.S. and 11 other countries; and 2) it would permit the marketing of dangerous Big Pharma drugs to Americans.
Open and public opposition
Doctors Without Borders says it opposed the TPP because it will make the import and export of cheaper generic medications nearly impossible, feeding Big Pharma and thereby raising the cost of care for millions of people.
“But right now the U.S. government is advocating for trade terms with eleven other Pacific Rim nations that could restrict access to generic medicines, making life-saving treatments unaffordable to millions,” the group says on its website.
“Damaging intellectual property rules in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) would give pharmaceutical companies longer monopolies over brand name drugs. Companies would be able to charge high prices for longer periods of time. And it would be much harder for generic companies to produce cheaper drugs that are vital to people’s health,” the group added.
Did the organization just get punished for this stance in Afghanistan? That’s a question posed by The Anti Media news and information site’s Claire Bernish.
“Harsh criticism and skepticism surround what is being labeled an errant U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz that left 22 people dead — many of them volunteers with Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders, the humanitarian aid agency) — but doubt lingers about the vague official story for a reason,” she reports.
Many Afghans and others on the ground in Kunduz questioned the bombing, noting that the accuracy of U.S. targeting and weapons systems is quite good — good enough, even, to target an enemy in a moving vehicle. So how could the U.S. have mistakenly bombed a hospital containing personnel belonging to a respected Nobel Prize-winning organization that is openly opposed to one of President Obama’s political priorities?
Christopher Stokes, the director of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) called the strike a war crime and said that “relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient,” The Guardian reported.
As reported by The Washington Post, Hamdullah Danishi, the acting governor of Kunduz, said, “The hospital campus was 100% used by the Taliban. The hospital has a vast garden, and the Taliban were there. We tolerated their firing for some time.”
But Stokes did not accept that. He said: “Not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the MSF hospital compound prior to the U.S. airstrike…”
What’s more, Stokes and others on the scene said that the attack took place over a prolonged period of time, and it just happened to coincide both with the reaching of an agreement among the TPP’s 12 nations and a Taliban attack on the city of Kunduz (which Afghan forces eventually beat back).
“In the case of MSF, a massive treaty cum trade deal involving U.S. interests in another part of the world from the tragedy in Kunduz can offer, perhaps, insight which might otherwise seem unrelated,” Bernish wrote. “As it turns out, MSF have been particularly vocal critics of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership — and their criticism hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/051637_Doctors_Without_Borders_Obama_TPP.html#ixzz3pCV8wMIJ
How Obama’s Chief Negotiators on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty Received Huge Bonuses from Mega Banks
Anyone that has spent any time whatsoever looking into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty, understands that it is a oligarch crony capitalists’ wet dream. Being negotiated entirely in secret, the treaty is designed to institutionalize corporate rule, giving companies the ability to sue governments and prevent them from exerting regulatory control over their own societies.
Bill Moyers has described the treaty as “Death for Democracy,” and now, unsurprisingly, we find out that several of the main negotiators for the TPP have received huge payments from taxpayer bailed out “Too Big to Jail” banks.
From the Republic Report:
Officials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.
Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.
Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection to his holdings in two investment funds, which was awarded “in recognition of [Froman’s] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”
Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs within the government. CitiGroup, for instance, provides an executive contract that awards additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, and Northrop Grumman are among the other firms that offer financial rewards upon retirement for government service.
A leaked text of the TPP’s investment chapter shows that the pact would include the controversial investor-state dispute resolution system. A fact-sheet provided by Public Citizen explains how multi-national corporations may use the TPP deal to skirt domestic courts and local laws. The arrangement would allows corporations to go after governments before foreign tribunals to demand compensations for tobacco, prescription drug and environment protections that they claim would undermine their expected future profits. Last year, Senator Elizabeth Warren warned that trade agreements such as the TPP provide “a chance for these banks to get something done quietly out of sight that they could not accomplish in a public place with the cameras rolling and the lights on.”
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional free-trade agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included.
As of 2011, 11 countries accounted for 30% of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.
Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP. The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policymakers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of US Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui. If ratified, the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented rights to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included. As of 2011 its 11 countries accounted for 30 percent of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.
Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP. The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policy makers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
There appears not to be a specific agricultural chapter in the TPP. Instead, rules affecting food systems and food safety are woven throughout the text. This agreement is attempting to establish corporations’ rights to skirt domestic courts and laws and sue governments directly with taxpayers paying compensation and fines directly from the treasury.
Though TPP content remains hidden, here are some things we do know:
- Members of Congress are concerned that the TPP would open the door to imports without resolving questions around food safety or environmental impacts on its production.
- Procurement rules specifically forbid discrimination based on the quality of production. This means that public programs that favor the use of sustainably produced local foods in school lunch programs could be prohibited.
- The labeling of foods containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) will not be allowed. Japan currently has labeling laws for GMOs in food. Under the TPP Japan would no longer be able to label GMOs. This situation is the same for New Zealand and Australia. In the US we are just beginning to see some progress towards labeling GMOs. Under the TPP GMO labels for US food would not be allowed.
- In April 2013, Peru placed a 10-year moratorium on GMO foods and plants. This prohibits the import, production and use of GMOs in foods and GMO plants and is aimed at safeguarding Peru’s agricultural diversity. The hope is to prevent cross-pollination with non-GMO crops and to ban GMO crops like Bt corn. What will become of Peru’s moratorium if the TPP is passed?
- There is a growing resistance to Monsanto’s agricultural plans in Vietnam. Monsanto (the US corporation controlling an estimated 90% of the world seed genetics) has a dark history with Vietnam. Many believe that Monsanto has no right to do business in a country where Monsanto’s product Agent Orange is estimated to have killed 400,000 Vietnamese, deformed another 500,000 and stricken another 2 million with various diseases.
Legacies of other trade agreements that serve as a warning about the TPP have a history of displacing small farmers and destroying local food economies. Ten years following the passage of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) 1.5 million Mexican farmers became bankrupt because they could not compete with the highly subsidized US corn entering the Mexican market.
In the same 10 years Mexico went from a country virtually producing all of its own corn to a country that now imports at least half of this food staple. Mexican consumers are now paying higher prices for Monsanto’s GMO corn.
With little or no competition for large corporations Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta now control 57 percent of the commercial food market.
While the TPP is in many ways like NAFTA and other existing trade agreements, it appears that the corporations have learned from previous experience. They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
If the TPP is adopted the door will be open wider for human rights and environmental abuse. Some of the things we should expect to see include:
- more large scale farming and more monocultures;
- destruction of local economies;
- no input into how our food is grown or what we will be eating;
- more deforestation;
- increased use of herbicides and pesticides;
- increased patenting of life forms;
- more GMO plants and foods; and
- no labeling of GMOs in food.
Together these are a step backwards for human rights and a giant step towards Monsanto’s control of our food.
Please pass the word to others about the TPP as most Americans are unaware of this trade agreement or its ominous effects if passed.
Since the Obama administration came to power in January of 2009, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has become a quiet priority for the U.S., which overtook the leadership role in the “trade agreement” talks. In 2010, when Malaysia joined the TPP, the Wall Street Journal suggested that the “free-trade pact” could “serve as a counterweight to China’s economic influence,” with Japan and the Philippines both expressing interest in joining the talks.
In the meantime, the Obama administration and other participating nations have been consulting and negotiating not only with each other, but with roughly 600 corporations involved. The TPP is accelerating the most dangerous free market policies of previous U.S. administrations, bestowing unprecedented powers and privileges upon Trans-National Corporations (TNCs) while dismantling regulations and laws without any democratic oversight or input.
This three-part investigative series examines the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a legally binding trade agreement for advancing transnational corporate tyranny and dismantling domestic democratic accountability.
I. Trade Representatives: The Global Corporate Lobby
Who negotiates trade agreements? The answer is simple: trade representatives. The term “trade representative” is essentially another way of saying “corporate lobbyist.”
To prove this point, it would be useful to quickly glance over the biographies of the important U.S. Trade Representatives (USTR) since the George H.W. Bush administration, when USTR Carla A. Hills was lead negotiator for NAFTA and the WTO.
Embedded within the U.S. foreign policy establishment, Hills had a long career in government and was the USTR from 1989 to 1993, after which she established and became CEO of Hills & Company, an international consulting firm with a focus on global trade and investment for clients such as the Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, American International Group (AIG), Novartis, Bechtel, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Inter-American Development Bank, Pfizer and Chevron.
A few accolades: Hills is a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, Gilead Sciences, and is on international advisory boards for Rolls Royce, the Coca-Cola Company and JPMorgan Chase. She is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Following Hill, from 1993 to 1997, the U.S. Trade Representative was Michael Kantor, who now advises corporate clients as a partner in the law firm Mayer-Brown. A member of the board of CBRE (a real estate services company), Kantor also serves on the advisory boards of ING USA and Fleishman-Hillard, a public relations firm.
Next in line, from 1997 to 2001 the USTR was Charlene Barshefsky, who is now on the boards of American Express, the Estée Lauder Company and Intel; like Hill, she is a member of both the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.
The USTR from 2001 to 2005 was Robert Zoellick, who afterwards served as Deputy Secretary of State, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2007, and President of the World Bank from 2007 to 2012. Following Zoellick, from 2005 to 2006, the USTR was Rob Portman, a U.S. Senator who was a possible running mate for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
And only after him did Susan Schwab, the USTR from 2006 to 2009, commit the U.S. to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Schwab has since joined the boards of FedEx, Caterpillar and Boeing. Based on the evidence of her and her predecessors’ tenures, it is safe to say there has been a significant interchange between “trade representatives” and “corporate representatives” — to the point where it is almost impossible to distinguish the them apart.
Now let’s get even more caught up to speed on appointed “government officials” so we can know exactly what we’re talking about.
In 2008, as Obama was campaigning for president, he stated, “I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race. I don’t take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.”
Within a week of becoming president, Obama changed his mind and his “transition team” (responsible for selecting the Obama cabinet) became co-chaired by John Podesta, co-founder with his brother Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group, a major Washington lobbying firm.
Podesta was Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff and, as co-chair of Obama’s transition team, he declared his team was implementing “rules that are the strictest, the most far-reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history.” A top lobbyist whose firm has represented such clients ranging from Wal-Mart, BP and Lockheed Martin to the Egyptian military dictatorship, Podesta appeared the ideal figure to implement Obama’s “strict” rules against hiring corporate lobbyists, right?
A little further background: the Podesta Group counts among its recent lobbying successes the stalling of a Senate bill which was calling on Egypt “to curtail human rights abuses.” The Group’s website also boasts that it “challenged” Wall Street reform after “one of the world’s largest banking firms came to the Podesta Group seeking help with their opposition” to proposed regulations for banks.
Thus, it should come as little surprise that part of the “strictest” and most “far-reaching ethics rules” announced by John Podesta in relation to lobbying was that no official could be appointed to the Obama administration if s/he had been an active lobbyist within the previous two years. Luckily for Ron Kirk, Obama’s U.S. Trade Representative, these “strict” rules only applied to the Washington D.C. area; and since Kirk was a corporate lobbyist in Austin, Texas, for the investment bank Merrill Lynch (before it was taken over by Bank of America in 2008), the “far-reaching ethics” promised by Podesta didn’t reach Kirk.
Kirk’s main priority since becoming USTR has been the Trans-Pacific Partnership, worked on in secret for nearly four years with several other countries and 600 corporations. President Obama has called it “a next-generation trade agreement” and a “model” for future agreements.
But not everyone agrees.
In May of 2012, more than 30 legal scholars from nations that will be affected by the TPP signed a letter addressed to USTR Kirk expressing their “profound concern and disappointment at the lack of public participation, transparency and open government processes in the negotiation” of the TPP.
In late June of 2012, more than 130 members of Congress followed this up with a letter that they signed and sent to Kirk urging transparency in TPP negotiations, and an inclusion of Congressional consultations, stating: “We are troubled that important policy decisions are being made without full input from Congress.”
In his not-to-worry response, Kirk reassured the public: “I believe … that we have very faithfully operated within the spirit of the Obama administration to have the most engaged and transparent process as we possibly could.”
Meanwhile, the TPP has received strong endorsements from large transnational corporations and their official lobbies, such as Thomas Donohue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who told the Financial Times that, “[t]his must be an agreement with high standards. These standards will set the bar on regulatory coherence, investment and intellectual property.”
Part of these “high standards,” according to a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group (APEC), are “deep commitments that go beyond tariff reduction and pass existing World Trade Organization standards.” In other words, it goes far beyond “trade.” This was confirmed by Iwan Azis, the head of the Asian Development Bank’s regional integration office, who stated that the TPP was intended to deal with “behind the border” issues, typically decided by domestic policy, and “which go beyond the normal scope of trade agreements” including issues of labor, environmental and intellectual property standards.
Azis commented: “As a concept, this is definitely something big… This is so comprehensive, it is like a Grade A agreement.” The TPP is designed “to be a structure on to which other nations, including possibly South Korea, and eventually even China, could be bolted.”
At the 2011 APEC summit, Chinese president Hu Jintao stated: “China supports the goal of the regional integration of the Asia-Pacific economy, using the East Asian free trade zone, full economic partnerships in Asia and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as foundations.”
The aim of the TPP appears to be in establishing a core “trade bloc” in order “to create a gravitational force that would bring others in,” according to Karan Bhatia, the Vice-President for international law at General Electric and a former deputy U.S. trade representative. Ultimately, this objective includes bringing both Japan and China into the fold.
In May of 2012, Kirk stated that he “would love nothing more” than to have China join the TPP, following the more immediate additions of Mexico, Canada, and Japan. And in November of 2011, President Obama spoke to the Australian parliament, explaining: “I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia Pacific a top priority… The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay.”
One observer and critic has noted that the TPP has the potential to become a new “global trade agreement.” Charlene Barshefsky, the USTR from 1997 to 2001, wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in October of 2012 in which she strongly endorsed the TPP as a “crucial opportunity” to overcome “barriers to innovation.” Referring to the TPP as the “most important trade negotiation of the past decade,” Barshefsky wrote that it “will set the terms of trade for many years in the world’s most economically dynamic region.”
Gary Horlick, who is rated one of the world’s top international trade lawyers with a long career representing major U.S. and global multinational corporations, and more than 20 countries in international trade negotiations and disputes – and who was the first Chairman of the World Trade Organization’s Permanent Group of Experts on subsidies – commented on the TPP: “This is the least transparent trade negotiation I have ever seen.” As part of this “transparency,” participants in the negotiations had to sign a memorandum of understanding which forbids them from releasing any “negotiating documents until four years after a deal is done or abandoned.”
What Horlick referred to as the “least transparent trade negotiations” he had ever seen, Kirk referred to as “the most engaged and transparent process” possible. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that Kirk has access to the draft document and observes and participates in the negotiations, unlike the representative bodies of governments or their populations.
So let’s call this what it is: a transnational corporate coup over the democratic process and public accountability.
Kirk explained that “there’s a practical reason” for all the secrecy in the negotiations over the TPP: “for our ability both to preserve negotiating strength and to encourage our partners to be willing to put issues on the table they may not otherwise, that we have to preserve some measure of discretion and confidentiality.”
Indeed, this is “practical.” After all, as he explained, if the talks were not done in secret, the public would be aware of what was being discussed, and if the public knew what was being planned, they would oppose it.
So secrecy is necessary in order to make the agreement as undemocratic and unaccountable as possible, to ensure that corporations get what they want while the public remains in the dark. Deceptive and saturated with disdain for democracy, certainly, but “practical” nevertheless.
This week, secret ‘negotiations’ are underway in a remote resort in Lansdowne,Virginia for the greatest global corporate coup in history. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and if you haven’t heard about it, then you are in the majority because there is a virtual media blackout in the United States.
To raise awareness of the TPP and to delay the ‘negotiations’, I shimmied up a 20 foot-high metal pole early yesterday morning in the driveway of the Lansdowne resort and attached myself at the top to a tripod. Negotiators abandoned their cars and walked up the driveway past me on the tripod and our banners that read “Trading away People’s lives and Planet’s future” and“FlushtheTPP.org”
Police arrived almost immediately and initially threatened to spray me with pepper spray and to taser me until I came down. A member of our team tossed me a pair of goggles. I quickly attached my safety lines and then I let go of the poles. I was ready for their assault and willing to accept it knowing that millions will lose their jobs or have poverty wages and slave working conditions, will suffer or die because they are unable to afford necessary medications and that the planet will be poisoned even more by large corporations if the TPP isn’t stopped.
I write negotiations above in quotation marks because this process really amounts to the U.S. using its power to bully smaller nations such as Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru into agreeing to a trade treaty that larger nations will then sign as written. The TPP will redefine the terms of globalization in a way that completely resets the social contract in favor of corporate rights rather than human rights.
In fact, this agreement is largely being shaped by corporations. Ron Kirk is the US Trade Representative. He works for the Office of the President. And he has 600 corporate advisers working with him. These advisers have real-time access to the text of the treaty as it is being negotiated so they can comment and suggest amendments. However, members of Congress have very limited access to the text. Congress members can only see the text if they go into a private room to read it, and they cannot take a phone or pen and paper with them. And the media and public have no access to the text. We only know what has been leaked, and that is pretty scary.
The ‘negotiators’ are trying to give the appearance of being inclusive, but it is a complete sham. On September 9, they held a Stakeholder Briefing at which non-profit organizations were allowed to make presentations to the negotiators and ask questions.Kevin Zeese of ItsOurEconomy.usdescribed how the drafts favored corporate greed over human needs and criticized how they were negotiated in an anti-democratic way. He asked if the U.S. Trade Representative would guarantee a democratic process including open debate in Congress and amendments rather than ‘fast-tracking’ the treaty. The representative said that she could not guarantee that, pretty much confirming our concerns that this treaty will be rammed through without committee hearings, amendments or debate. After the briefing, many who attended marveled at the skill of the negotiators to avoid answering questions.
My broad concerns are with the secrecy and lack of democracy. The trade negotiators know that if the public knew what was in the agreement there would be a mass uprising here as there has been in other countries. They are calling this trade agreement a ‘partnership’ because the public is aware of the harm of ‘free-trade’ agreements. NAFTA has been responsiblefor the outsourcing of nearly one million US jobs and crashed the Mexican economy. The TPP is being called‘NAFTA on steroids.’
Even in Leesburg, VA, where many of the people are conservative, every person we met supported our protest when we explained why we were there. We were protesting the TPP because what we know so far is that it will:
- Allow corporations to sue nations if laws such as those protecting the environment or labor conditions interfere with corporate profits.
- Create aprivate corporate tribunal to hear these cases in which the judges are largely corporate lawyers.
- Extend the patent period for pharmaceuticals which will keep prices high and medications out of the hands of those who need them.
- End “Buy America” provisions which will lead to greater job outsourcing.
- Furtherde-regulate Big Finance.
- Undermine internet freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples’ abilities to innovate.
TPP is the biggest corporate power grab in history. Under the TPP transnational corporations will have more power than individual nations. President Obama promised to renegotiate NAFTA in a way that was favorable to the American people. However, it appears that the opposite is happening with the TPP. We are asking President Obamato live up to his campaign promise of greater transparency and release the text of the TPP. We are also asking that there be a democratic review process in Congress before a vote on the TPP.
Time is of the essence because this is the final round of negotiations in the U.S. TPP negotiations were started under President Bush but didn’t really get going in earnest until three years ago. The goal of the White House is to complete the TPP soon because larger nations are interested in signing onto it.
I ask that every person who reads this to forward it to their family and friends. Pressure your local media to cover the TPP. Do what you can do to raise visibility. We can stop this global corporate coup if we expose it. And we must stop it if we want a healthy future for ourselves, our families and all people across the globe.
Last Sunday I stood with hundreds of people outside of the Lansdowne Resort. We chanted, “The TPP stinks! Flush the TPP.” Visit FlushtheTPP.org for more information and sign the petition.
Click here to see a photo story of the action.
Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician from Baltimore, MD and co-director of ItsOurEconomy.us