On November 30, 2011, hundreds of people from Occupy Phoenix and AZ-Resist activists came together for Occupy ALEC, a protest at the ALEC (American Legislation Exchange Council) conference in Scottsdale AZ. They were met by rows of riot police and security.
If you are not familiar with ALEC, I encourage you to start reading up on this organization. They are one of the biggest backers – those who are “behind the curtain” – of the corruption within our government.
According to an article in The Nation, written by John Nichols, dated July 12, 2011:
ALEC was “Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists frustrated by recent electoral setbacks, ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics. Inspired by Milton Friedman’s call for conservatives to “develop alternatives to existing policies [and] keep them alive and available,” ALEC’s model legislation reflects long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful to account. Corporate donors retain veto power over the language, which is developed by the secretive task forces. The task forces cover issues from education to health policy. ALEC’s priorities for the 2011 session included bills to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws and more. In states across the country they succeeded, with stacks of new laws signed by GOP governors like Ohio’s John Kasich and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, both ALEC alums.”
Further in this article:
“The articles that follow are the first products of that examination. They provide an inside view of the priorities of ALEC’s corporate board and billionaire benefactors (including Tea Party funders Charles and David Koch). “Dozens of corporations are investing millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation that is being made into law in statehouses coast to coast, with no regard for the public interest,” says Bob Edgar of Common Cause. “This is proof positive of the depth and scope of the corporate reach into our democratic processes.” The full archive of ALEC documents is available at a new website, alecexposed.org, thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy, which has provided powerful tools for progressives to turn this knowledge into power. The data tell us that the time has come to refocus on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy in the states.”
ALEC Exposed website provides an in depth look into the details of this organization. This is not a sit-down-and-read-in-one-sitting website, but one to bookmark and return to and tackle one item at a time. There are thousands of zip files available for download (I have downloaded many, they are safe.) ALEC Exposed is also not for the faint-at-heart…. but should absolutely not be ignored with the hopes that ALEC just go away. ALEC will not go away easily, and most certainly will not be dissolved unless the citizens of our country start reading up and becoming aware of what is really going on… and what your children and grandchildren have in their future.
Just take a look at the video and photos below and note the strong force of police present against a relatively small group of protesters. ALEC basically owns the government in Arizona, ergo the police. Arizona has become infamous for their private prison system – which is strongly backed by ALEC. Most of the prisoners within our private prison system should NOT be there, but are because each body present on a daily basis accrues more money to each stock and shareholders pocket. More prisoners, more profit. ALEC Exposed site has a lot of information about this system. For quick reads, there are several posts here on Motley News categorized under Private Prisons.
Click on a thumbnail to bring up the image in full size and resolution in the shadowbox.
You may then toggle through each picture at your own pace.
All photos shown were taken by Fernando Lopez.