Pretenders, Protesters Show Up For Trans-Pacific Trade Talks

Chrissie Hynde ain't pretendin

Foreign trade deals don't need China and Japan in order to be successful, merely relevant. And they certainly don't need to be globe-busting in order to draw demonstrators: several events are planned today as the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a Bush-era holdover of an idea that is nonetheless President Obama's first stab at an overseas economic deal -- kicks off today at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders is going to be here, protesting. Who needs the WTO?

Hynde will be with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who have a beef with Trans-Pacific partner Australia's wool industry. They don't like "mulesing," a process in which farmers "cut chunks of flesh from lambs' backsides." (WARNING: Icky!) While that's probably delicious if the lamb is cooked, The Snitch hereby declares its own ban on mulesing. Look for Hynde to be back on the chain gang at noon.

But trade deals with the likes of Singapore, Peru, Brunei and Vietnam have local ramifications, too. Right about now, Supervisor Eric Mar is explaining exactly how any trade deal involving the above could foul up local efforts to extend a tobacco smoking ban. Tobacco should be left off the negotiating table entirely, say the California Public Health Association and the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health, and they'll make their voice heard at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church at 756 Mission.

Lastly, labor is also weighing heavily on enlightened minds this morning. Demonstrators demanding a "new deal or no deal" will ask the negotiating nations to embark on renewed efforts to "protect jobs, the environment, food safety and human rights." This contingent includes Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, and they'll rally -- probably might be done by now, sorry everyone --  near the Intercontinental.

So Brunei goes, so goes the world.

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