Contact: Young Choe 347.885.9226
Negotiators in 3rd day of talks, with determined protesters outside
What: South Korean farmers and workers are pitching a tent outside the Montana site of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KorUS FTA) negotiations. The farmers and workers are here to protest the KorUS FTA, which will be the largest free trade agreement since NAFTA, with potentially devastating job losses and lowered wages for Korean and US workers.
The 10 Korean protesters will be joined by 20 US and Montana fair trade activists and will their tent protest will last throughout the night and day, possibly into Friday. A candlelight cultural festival will open the protests.
Where: Parking lot of Shoshone Hotel at the Big Sky Resort.
Big Sky, Montana .
When: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 8pm.
Who: 10 representatives of Korean Alliance against the KorUS FTA representing 280 civil society organizations, including the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and Korean Peasant League, as well as other NGO's whose membership total over 2 million. They are joined by 20 + fair trade activists from United States representing Korean American and Montanan organizations.
Why: The protesters have traveled several thousand miles - from Korea as well as from various parts of the US to protest this 5th round of KorUS FTA negotiations. In spite of the negotiators’ attempt to avoid protests by meeting in a secluded sky resort (in Seoul today, over 30,000 protesters marched downtown), and to show resolve against the undemocratic nature of the talks, the protesters will be pitching a tent outside the negotiation site. They will protest in a tent in the cold Montana winter, in contrast to the trade negotiators luxuriating in the comfort of a top rated ski resort. Montanans voted for a fair-trade senator, and oppose free trade that reduces government subsidies and leaves small farmers vulnerable to market fluctuation. The KorUS FTA would affect automobile, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, among many others. Large protests have been held in Korea, Seattle and Washington over the past half year as the talks have pushed on.