protest, trade agreement, businessman, Dallas

Edward Griffin

Edward Griffin sits in the sunshine and cool breeze blowing through Klyde Warren Park. The 25-year Dallas resident, originally from Pittsburgh, is a businessman and owns his own grant consulting firm. He wears a black long-sleeve shirt, with a white undershirt mirroring his short graying hair, to keep him warm as he reads the latest edition of the Dallas Morning News like he normally does.

He sets the paper on to the chessboard table to flip to the sports section and checks the expensive watch on his left wrist.  It’s jeans day for other people in the park, but today Edward wears jeans for comfort as he protests the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

“The protest went pretty good as far as I can guess,” Edward said. “Unfortunately I came pretty late.” Edward was still able to participate, staying back to pass out leaflets as the others marched onward. His mission, to educate the public on something he doesn’t know much about.

“I was like, what is this?” he said. “Basically, it’s some kind of trade deal they’re trying like the NAFTA deal.”

Edward’s problem is that the trade deal is relatively secret, he said with a fading smile. There have been news articles about it over the past eight years, but few and far between with little to no enlightenment on the trade agreement. It was only on November 13, 2013 that WikiLeaks first leaked “Secret TPP treaty: Advanced Intellectual Property chapter for all 12 nations with negotiating positions” documents.

The concern in his voice is easily heard. “Why don’t we know about it? If it’s such a good deal, why did nobody hear about it?”

Edward Griffin tries to be well read and thinks reading is the best way to stay open-minded. He reads the news every day, investigating the validity of articles himself. His brow tightens, wrinkling his forehead as he tries to stay open-minded about something he can’t understand.  He’s not just here to educate the public, but to educate himself.

“That’s why I was trying to come,” he said. “When I heard about the protest, I’m like, let’s investigate and see what this is first. I want to know what it is.”

Edward is a part of the organization protesting today, Texas Organizing Priorities.

It’s a beautiful day for Edward Griffin. Edward thinks it went well, and smiles as he wraps up his daily reading, setting his hand on top of the paper blowing in the wind.

Read more about the TPP agreement at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Washington College of Law

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