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Free Trade and Democracy

By Jon Sievert

At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service, Dr. Cliff DuRand, a founder and research associate at the Center for Global Justice, discusses the impeding ratification of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) that will limit sovereignty and override many US laws and regulations.

UU Service
“Free Trade and Democracy”
With Dr. Cliff Durand
Sun, Jan 17, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

Led by the Obama Administration, TPP was negotiated in secret among 12 Pacific Rim countries with major input from 600 transnational corporations, but none from the public or our Congressional representatives. The treaty will require a change in US laws that protect the environment, food safety, Internet freedom, labor protection, consumer rights, and more. This stealth treaty has been called NAFTA on steroids. Its most controversial provision allows foreign corporations to sue the government for lost expected profits due to democratically enacted measures even though they protect a legitimate public interest. International panels, operating in secret, will decide how much we have to pay corporations for democracy.

Dr. Durand is a lifelong political activist and retired philosophy professor who spent 40 years of his adult life teaching at Morgan State University, a historically African-American university in Baltimore. He received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Social Philosophy at Florida State University.

In 1982 he founded the Progressive Action Center as a home for the left in Baltimore. He was also a founder of the Radical Philosophy Association and its secretary and treasurer for 13 years. Since 1990, Cliff has organized and led annual educational trips to Cuba, for which he was named Profesor Invitado at the Universidad de la Habana. For more than a decade he was also the China correspondent for the Guardian newspaper (NYC).

After retiring, Cliff and his wife, Julie, moved to San Miguel de Allende, where he helped found the Center for Global Justice in 2004. He is a popular public speaker and co-author and co-editor of Recreating Democracy in a Globalized State.

Special music for this service will be provided by pianist Jerry Fastrup. The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30 am at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs for coffee and snacks afterwards. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


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