Protesters to hold demo in Harborough this weekend

The last time protesters held a rally in Market Harborough was last August when the People's March for the NHS stopped off in town. (Mail file picture by Andrew Carpenter).
The last time protesters held a rally in Market Harborough was last August when the People's March for the NHS stopped off in town. (Mail file picture by Andrew Carpenter).

A campaign group calling itself 38 Degrees Harborough is planning a demonstration in Market Harborough town centre this Saturday.

They are campaigning against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is seeking to open up trade between Europe and America.

Trade negotiations are currently ongoing between the European Union and the United States over the TTIP and it would eliminate almost all taxes applied to imported goods on trade between America and the EU in a bid to reduce the burdens on business.

But the campaigners claim it will leave the NHS vulnerable to American healthcare businesses.

They also argue that the partnership will lower controls over GM crops and other trading standards, enable big business to sue states for loss of potential earnings and threaten employment in the UK.

38 Degrees is a nationwide campaign group that argues for “citizens’ rights, civic education and a better, fairer democracy”.

The last time there was a protest rally in Market Harborough was in August last year when health campaigners sought to bring issues to the forefront.

On that occasion, the People’s March for the NHS saw scores of people take to Harborough’s streets carrying banners and shouting slogans against the privatisation of the health service.

This Saturday’s protest will congregate around the town’s iconic Old Grammar School building in Church Square at 11am.

Campaigners will be collecting signatures for a petition.

Klaus Heinrich, the 38 Degrees Harborough coordinator, says in a press release to the Mail: “This trade deal is being fixed in secret and it threatens all working people and NHS-users in the UK.

“Ordinary people need to be aware – and say no!”

38 Degrees Harborough will be planning more local events in the future, says the press release.

A summit of European leaders last December called for a comprehensive agreement on the TTIP by the end of 2015 but the European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has said that this timetable is probably unrealistic.

For more details, visit the website you.38degrees.org.uk/local_chapters/38-degrees-harborough.