The TPP & Shared Struggle: Mobilize in Chicago on April 1st & 14th!

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(Español aquí) By: Celeste Larkin, CRLN Public Policy Coordinator


(Scroll down for action info!) For over three years, CRLN has organized, lobbied, and mobilized to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This work is consistent with our decades-long tradition of being in solidarity with communities resisting harmful free trade frameworks. We’ve seen the project of neoliberal development ravage communities throughout Latin America, destroy the livelihoods of campesinos and rural communities, strip workers’ right to organize, and force the migration of millions of people who are seeking basic survival into the US. All this has occurred in favor of a market-based logic that ultimately serves only to bolster profits for global capital. This is why we at CRLN have supported struggles for living wages, the right to not migrate, the defense of oppressed and targeted immigrants in Illinois, and development projects truly oriented toward base communities throughout Latin America.


The battle against the TPP has been a long one that brings to life many of the latter issues. CRLN in coalition with several local, national and international organizations has successfully helped delay the TPP’s passage by pushing the issue into the 2016 election season. Yet while we wait for the post-November ‘lame duck’ session in which the TPP will likely be a live issue in Congress once again, we still have work to do.


CRLN is an Illinois-based organization in a unique position to see how neoliberal projects parallel each other both internationally and in our own city. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was both one of the intellectual authors of NAFTA under President Clinton and an ongoing proponent for the defunding of public institutions like mental health facilities and public schools. Through our work, we’ve seen how free trade ideologies are used to justify the funding of hotel chains, mineral extraction or hydroelectric dams (many of which are accompanied by military personnel, police or private security forces) on Garifuna, Black, Indigenous, and campesino land. We’ve also seen countless industries moving to Latin America to hyper-exploit working class and poor communities. In our own city, we’ve also seen how the privatization of public institutions and social services and the simultaneous bolstering of police and prisons disproportionately affects Black, Latinx, undocumented, and working class folks.


CRLN promotes lines of solidarity across shared struggle throughout the hemisphere, responding to our partners in Latin America while also organizing solidarity work with communities and leaders from Chicago and throughout Illinois. While we continue fighting deportations and demanding justice for Latin American human rights leaders, we write today to invite CRLN members to show solidarity with local struggles for livable wages, good schools and necessary public services, all of which reflect the parallel neoliberal projects throughout Latin America:


  • This Friday, April 1st, the Chicago Teachers Union and a host of other social justice organizations and labor groups are calling for a general strike to demonstrate the power of organized labor in the face of city- and state-wide attacks on predominantly communities of color affected by cuts in public education and necessary resources. For more information, see this map of activities happening this Friday.



While we organize against economic, structural and physical violence against human rights in Latin America and with undocumented folks of Illinois, we must continue building solidarity from the intersections of our shared struggles. From Chicago to our partners throughout Latin America, la lucha sigue!