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  • Demonstrators confront riot police in central Brussels during a protest over the government

    Demonstrators confront riot police in central Brussels during a protest over the government's reforms on Oct. 7, 2015, eight days before the TTIP protest. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 October 2015

Demonstrators said the “TTIP is death,” claiming it will lower standards of living and damage the environment, while benefiting huge multinationals.

More than 100 anti-TTIP protesters were arrested Thursday in the Belgian capital Brussels, as hundreds of activists rallied in front of the European Union's headquarters, blocking traffic, RT reported.

“TTIP is death,” read a sign being held by one of the persons protesting against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is being negotiated by the European Union and the United States since July 2013.

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"Sorry for the inconvenience. We're trying to save the world," the protesters said in sign meant for people affected by their protest.

The German European Parliament member Fabio de Masi told Sputnik after a massive protest in Berlin the deal must be stopped in light of the huge opposition against it and other similar treaties.

"Those free trade agreements must finally now be stopped. A quarter million demonstrating in Berlin against them –very impressive! That shows — together with more than 3.2 million signatures in the EU against TTIP, CETA and TISA – that the population of Europe does not want these free trade deal," De Masi added.

Protests against TTIP show that, “The people do not want democracy undermined by special rights for companies to sue states via the ISDS [investor-state dispute settlement] and hinder progressive legislation via regulatory cooperation," De Masi added.

De Massi accused the European Commission of not acting in favor of the people of Europe, but instead seeking to benefit huge corporations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sputnik reported that over 3.25 million people have so far signed a petition against the highly controversial TTIP and CETA deals.

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As part of the Thursday's protest, demonstrators listened to concerts and speeches under a cold rain and then separated themselves into groups to take their protest in front of the European Commission's buildings, such as the Parliament and the European council.

EU lawmakers were holding a meeting at the time to discuss the massive refugee crisis affecting the region.

Police attempted to stop the demonstrators from interrupting the work of the EU legislators by arresting 105 persons, including over 30 from Spain. All the activists were later released.

"Our aim was to prevent the blocking of the entry of European leaders at the summit," Brussels police spokesman Christian De Coninck was quoted by the RTL news outlet as saying.

The rally was organized by Alliance D19-20, a group of farmers, trade unionists, and representatives of over 60 organizations from the voluntary sector.

About 120 members of the “Euro-market” parties of Spain, France, Italy and Greece joined the rally to voice their concerns.

The Alliance stated “opposition of the peoples of Europe to these treaties has never been stronger, in a true democracy, against the destruction of our rights by austerity and free-trade agreements!”

They explained that what the EC is attempting to do is ratify the free trade agreement with Canada known as the CETA and conclude the TTIP by their set deadline of no later than the end of this year.

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The 11th round of the TTIP talks will take place next week in Miami, Florida, and the delegations are expected to discuss market access mechanisms.

Apparently, there will be a 12th round to finalize the agreement before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office. The treaty is being negotiated secretly.

According to negotiators, the trade agreement is aimed at creating the largest free trade zone in the world by reducing barriers to trade between the US and the European Union.

But protesters argue that that the agreement will lower standards in the EU countries, by harming social, consumer and environmental standards.

On Sunday, about 250,000 people took to the streets of Berlin in Germany to protest the TTIP.

WATCH: Protesters Slam the TTIP

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