AUSTIN - A coalition to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor voiced its concerns Sunday in Austin, citing border security and gun rights as key issues not being addressed.

The large crowd in attendance at the meeting represented a cross section of Texans and included a veterans group out of Houston.

“We didn’t fight a war so our government could give away our land,” said ret. Col. Sam Horton of Houston.

World War II veteran, ret. Col. Arthur Peterson of Houston, said national security is at stake because the Gov. Rick Perry-supported transportation project would help erase borders between the United States and Mexico and Canada.

The TTC is part of a plan to create a North American Union, Peterson said, citing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America that was entered into by President Bush during a meeting with Mexican President Vincent Fox and then-Canadian Prime Minster Paul Martin on March 23, 2005.

“As to what kind of union might there be, I see one based upon free trade, that would then entail commitment to markets and democracy, transparency, rule of law,” Bush told media after that meeting.

“Their plan is to have the North American Union in place by 2010,” Peterson said. “It would be like the European Union.”

Common currency with Canada and Mexico and trial courts and tribunals that supersede any U.S. court - including the U.S. Supreme Court - are in America’s future if its citizenry doesn’t say “no” and say “no” now, Peterson said.

“We fought in wars with weapons,” the 36-year war veteran said. “Now we’re fighting with words, e-mails and letters. The key to the TTC is it must be stopped. It’s a bad deal. It’s bad for Texas.”

Eagle Forum’s Gina Parker Ford noted the diversity of the several hundred people who gathered Sunday.

“We don’t have an ‘R’ (for Republican) or a ‘D’ (for Democrat) on us today … . Each one of us has a heart of courage,” she said, saying her concerns include seeing, “the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle class getting smaller.”

Ford said the TTC was just one of many objectives set by those wanting to create a North American Union that would have common borders and superseding courts.

U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms under the country’s constitution, Ford said, noting however that Mexican and Canadian citizens do not. With common borders and superseding courts, that right is in jeopardy, she said, discussing other research that has been done into the Bush- and Perry-driven proposals.

“We can expect to see these rights challenged,” she said.

“This all adds up to not only more and bigger government, but to the establishment of a un-elected mega-government (the North American Union),” she said, noting there was no congressional oversight - and no Senate treaty approval - over the Security and Prosperity Partnership entered into by Bush.

Ford cautioned that Bush isn’t addressing border security because plans have been announced for an “open borders/trusted traveler” program that would set up a common identification card to the three countries. That, she said, quoting Phyllis Schlafly, would “turn the U.S. into a boarding house for the world’s poor, enable employers to import an unlimited number of willing workers at frugal wages … and wipe out the U.S. middle class.”

The TTC is part of the U.S. Government’s Council of Foreign Relations’ plans - which also include massive foreign aid to Mexico and monies for 60,000 Mexican students to attend U.S. universities for free, Ford said, noting the irony of seeing older American workers having to subsidize their Social Security by working at Taco Bell.

“How many of you would like to have your kids’ tuition paid for by the U.S. government?” she asked. “It’s unfair and out of balance.”

Meeting organizer Linda Curtis called on a grass roots effort to go to the Legislature and work toward legislation to at least rein in the massive project, which critics say will remove at hundreds of thousands of acres off of the tax rolls and into foreign control.

“We represent millions of people,” Curtis said of the protest groups that are coming together as one voice.

A rally is planned for March 2 on the steps of the state Capitol.

David Stall of CorridorWatch said the TTC “is not about transportation, it’s about revenue.”

“We didn’t ask for it,” he said. “We do need better roads and we need better transportation, but the TTC is not about doing any of those things. It’s about generating revenue.”

The days of free roads are coming to an end unless Texans stand up now, he said, saying non-compete clauses are being allowed into toll projects that would prohibit any work on nearby roadways - essentially forcing motorists onto the toll roads.

With no state oversight on the tolls, the private companies building the toll roads can set the tolls at whatever the market will bear, he said, saying “more and more” agreements are being reached in back rooms, with entities being created that are not responsive to Open Records and Open Meetings act provisions.

“The TTC hasn’t happened yet,” Stall said. “We still have time to affect some changes. … Are you going to abdicate your responsibilities or take the bull by the horns?

“Let’s stay in control and not turn that control over to somebody else somewhere else,” he said.

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