Nationwide Protests of Merkel Visit as Germany Blocks WTO Waiver Sought By U.S., Rest of World for Desperately Needed COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments

Advocates Plan Dozens of German Consulate Protests Nationwide, White House Photo Ops, Press Conference Demanding Merkel End TRIPS Waiver Blockade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 9, 2021
CONTACT: Derrick Robinson, drobinson@citizen.org

MEDIA ADVISORY

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dozens of U.S. protests and public events, including a die-in near the White House and protests at German consulates nationwide, are planned for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s U.S. visit on July 15 as Germany blocks an emergency WTO waiver to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines and treatments that would save millions of lives.

As the Delta variant rages worldwide and Tokyo locks down pre-Olympics, COVID-19 and German TRIPS waiver opposition threatens to overshadow what Chancellor Merkel hoped would be a valedictory visit.

The Biden administration declared support of the waiver in May and many nations followed their lead, however WTO consensus rules means German opposition is now blocking 130+ nations that view a waiver as key to boosting production of vaccines and other medical supplies. COVID-19 is raging through the many nations with limited vaccine access. Poor nations’ access may lag until 2024, destroying lives and livelihoods and increasing chances a vaccine-resistant variant develops.

Merkel’s singular role as the obstacle has made the summit a critical test of whether President Joe Biden can deliver on his goal of a TRIPS waiver unlocking global vaccine and treatment access – or his initiative to save tens of millions of live could fail despite his historic support, as well as Merkel’s chance to cement her legacy as a humanitarian, not a Big Pharma shill.

The U.S. and Germany alone produce approved mRNA vaccines. If Merkel gets a high-profile White House photo op and victory lap without Biden delivering progress on the TRIPS waiver, a major administration agenda item will be dealt a punishing blow. As Be a Hero founder Ady Barkan recently explained in a video going viral: “President Biden has shown so much leadership. Now we need him to bring Chancellor Merkel along with him.”

Below is a preview of protests and events leading up to Merkel’s visit. Check here for updates and to view events in calendar layout.

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White House Photo Op: Germany—Stop Blocking Global COVID Vaccines!” Banner Drop

WHAT: Protesters will float 20’ by 10’ banner on helium lifts with White House as backdrop

WHEN: Tuesday, July 13 at 9 a.m. ET

WHERE: Corner of Constitution and 16th Street NW, Washington D.C.

For more information, please contact Arthur Stamoulis at arthur@citizenstrade.org

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Press Conference: Global Leaders Urge Merkel/Biden to Solve TRIPS Waiver Block

WHAT: Leaders of public health, and other organizations will urge Chancellor Merkel to end her waiver blockade and call on Pres. Biden to show leadership by persuading her to do so, for the sake of millions of people’s lives and livelihoods.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 14 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: RSVP for the online event and get updates as speakers are confirmed.

Speakers Include:

  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
  • Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate economist at Columbia University
  • Marian Lieser, Oxfam Germany Executive Director
  • Joia Mukherjee, Partners In Health Medical Director
  • Charlie Chilufya, Director of Justice and Ecology at Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar
  • Moderator: Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
  • More speakers to be confirmed

For more information, please contact Matthew Groch at mgroch@citizen.org

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Mass Protest at German Permanent Mission to UN in New York City

WHAT: Protest at German UN Mission/Consulate to protest Germany TRIPS waiver blockage

WHEN: Wednesday, July 14 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, E. 47th Street (between 1st & 2nd Ave.), New York Marching from there to the German Consulate and then to Pfizer Corporation offices.

For more information, please contact please contact Ben Levenson at b.levenson@peoplesaction.org

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Protest: Die-in at White House During Merkel’s Visit (Featuring Giant Merkel Puppet)

WHAT: On the day of Merkel’s White House visit, protesters will display body bags representing the global number of COVID-19 deaths since the TRIPS waiver was first proposed in October 2020. An oversized Merkel puppet will bear witness to the sad reality that Delay=Death.

WHEN: Thursday, July 15 at 9 a.m. ET

WHERE: Lafayette Square (H St and Black Lives Matter Plaza NW)

For more information, please contact Arthur Stamoulis at arthur@citizenstrade.org

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Vigils at German Consulates Across the Country

WHAT: Waiver advocates will hold vigils outside German consulates, remembering those who have died of COVID-19 and calling for the global access to vaccines and treatments that’s needed to help save millions of lives and end the pandemic. Several have already been held, and more are being scheduled. Confirmed vigils are below, all times local:

CALIFORNIA
Wednesday, July 14 * 10:00 a.m.
Outside the German Consulate
6222 Wilshire Boulevard * Los Angeles, CA
For more information, please contact Will Wiltschko at will@citizenstrade.org
RSVP for Los Angeles Event Online Here

Thursday, July 15 * 6:00 p.m.
Outside the German Consulate
1960 Jackson Street * San Francisco, CA
For more information, please contact Will Wiltschko at will@citizenstrade.org
RSVP for San Francisco Event Online Here

Friday, July 16 * 10:30 a.m.
Outside the Honorary German Consulate (Emerald Center)
1620 5th Ave * San Diego, CA
For more information, please contact Will Wiltschko at will@citizenstrade.org
RSVP for San Diego Event Online Here

 

COLORADO
Wednesday, July 14 * 11:00 a.m.
Outside the Honorary German Consulate
4100 E Mississippi Avenue * Denver, CO
For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org 
RSVP for Denver Event Online Here

 

ILLINOIS
Tuesday, July 13 * 8:30am
Outside the German Consulate
676 N Michigan Ave * Chicago, IL
For more information, please contact Emily Kuttner at ekuttner@gmail.com 

 

MAINE
Thursday, July 15 * 12:30 p.m.
Across from Honorary German Consulate (Lobsterman Park)
1 Temple Street * Portland, ME
For more information, please contact Martha Speiss at mspiess@myfairpoint.net
RSVP for Portland Event Online Here

 

MASSACHUSETTS
Monday, July 12 • 12:00 p.m.
Copley Square (Corner of Boylston & Darmouth Streets)
560 Boylston St • Boston, MA
For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org
RSVP for Boston Event Online Here

 

NEW YORK
Wednesday, July 14 * 10:00 a.m.
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
47th Street (between 1st & 2nd Ave) * New York, NY
For more information, please contact please contact Ben Levenson at b.levenson@peoplesaction.org 
Share on Facebook
RSVP for the New York Event Online Here

Thursday, July 15 * 5:00 p.m.
Outside the Honorary German Consulate
120 West Tupper Street * Buffalo, NY
For more information, please contact George Kimball at george@citizenstrade.org
RSVP for Buffalo Event Online Here

 

OHIO
Wednesday, July 14 * 12:00 p.m.
Outside the Honorary German Consulate (One Cleveland Center)
1375 E. Ninth Street * Cleveland, OH
For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org  
RSVP for the Cleveland Event Online Here

 

OREGON
Wednesday, July 14 * 6:00 p.m.
Outside Honorary German Consulate
3900 SW Murray Blvd • Beaverton, OR
For more information, please contact Hillary Haden at hillary@washingtonfairtrade.org 
Share on Facebook
RSVP for Beaverton Event Online Here

 

TEXAS
Friday, July 9 * 11:00am
Car Caravan Around German Consulate
Meeting at 17198 Knoll Trail Road * Dallas, TX
For more information, please contact Bob Cash at bobcash@citizenstrade.org 
RSVP for Dallas Event Online Here

Thursday, July 15  1:30pm  
Outside Honorary German Consulate 
912 S. Capitol of Texas Hwy (Hwy 360) * Austin, TX 
For more information, please contact Bob Cash, bobcash@citizenstrade.org 

UTAH
Tuesday, July 13 * 12:00 p.m.
Outside the Honorary German Consulate
36 State St * Salt Lake City, UT
For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org  
RSVP for Salt Lake Event Online Here

 

VIRGINIA
Thursday, July 15 * 10:30 a.m.
Outside the Honorary German Consulate (Town Point Park and Nauticus)
1 Waterside Drive * Norfolk, VA
For more information, please contact Ryan Harvey at rharvey@citizen.org 
RSVP for Norfolk Event Online Here

 

WASHINGTON
Sunday, July 11 * 1:00 p.m.
The German House
613 9th Ave * Seattle, WA
For more information, please contact Hillary Haden at hillary@washingtonfairtrade.org
Share on Facebook
RSVP for Seattle Event Online Here