On February 29th, concerned citizens, students, and occupiers in over seventy cities across the nation, including Occupy Wall Street (NYC), are standing up to the corporations and legislators involved in American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The biggest corporations in America, including ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that puts corporate profit over the well-being of ordinary people. Responding to a national call from Occupy Portland, this will be the Occupy Movement’s largest coordinated action this year and will confront ALEC corporations in the cities in which they do business throughout the nation.
“ALEC, a registered nonprofit with a board of trustees that reads like a Fortune 500 list, allows corporate lobbyists to push legislation representing corporate interests,” said Dana Balicki of Occupy Wall Street. “Essentially, this is legislation laundering."
ALEC is comprised of state and federal government legislators and many of America’s biggest corporations. In ALEC task-forces and committees, lobbyists work directly with legislators to draft and advance cookie-cutter “model” bills that serve the interests of the corporations rather than people. ALEC is responsible for some of the most anti-democratic, repressive, and discriminatory legislation to pass through the halls of government. Wisconsin Act 10, attacking public employee unions, mirrors ALEC’s anti-union agenda and was introduced by Governor Scott Walker, an ALEC member from 1993-2002. Arizona’s widely criticized Racial Profiling bill (SB1070) also has roots in ALEC model legislation.
“The public is never informed that a group representing the most privileged people in America are drafting the legislation that disempowers the most vulnerable. The decisions affecting our communities should be made democratically, not through a corrupt system that hides the influence of the very corporations that benefit at our expense. ALEC is representative of a failed system in which profit and greed are dominant over everything else,” said David Osborn of Occupy Portland.
Actions in several of the cities responding to Occupy Portland’s call to Shut Down ALEC Corporations are listed below. For a full list visit http://bit.ly/alecactions:
Coordinated Southern California Action - (LA, Long Beach, Orange County and Riverside)
• Actions will target one of the largest Wal-Mart distribution centers in the country in support of non-union warehouse workers.
Occupy Wall Street
• Pop-up Occupation at Bryant-Park starting at 9am with teach-in with Matt Taibbi; March leaving Bryant Park at noon with creative actions targeting Bank of America, Pfizer, and Koch Brothers
Occupy Salt Lake City
• Actions focusing on private prisons, racism, and anti-union aspects of ALEC including a Utah replica of Arizona’s SB 1070; Actions will include a Debutant ball in the capitol.
Coordinated Connecticut Action - (New Haven, Hartford, Darien, New London, Shoreline, Danbury and Willimantic)
• Creative actions to target Pfizer and draw attention to the way in which it serves the interests of the 1% while ignoring the health and well-being of people, animals and the earth itself.
• Rally at SW Ankeny and Waterfront at 11:30; March leaving at 1:00 with creative direct actions targeting ALEC corporations throughout the city.
• There will be a rally at State Capitol focusing on union-busting and anti-immigrant bills then a march on Freeport McMoRam and "museum" style tour of ALEC corporations.
Stay up to the minute on twitter using #F29 and follow @F29pdx and see liveblogging from around the nation at shutdownthecorporations.org
Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people powered movement fighting for economic justice in the face of neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% organizing to end the tyranny of the 1%.
For more info www.occupywallst.org and nycga.net.