Today, the Occupy movement is protesting around the world, zeroing in on corporations that act against the public interest with a day of coordinated action known as #F29 and Shut Down the Corporations. One of the movement’s primary targets is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is an extraordinarily powerful and secretive organization. Occupiers in 80 American cities are targeting ALEC in the largest coordinated action by the movement since the fall.
Never heard of ALEC? “That’s the point,” Mother Jones’s Josh Harkinson writes:
“It’s an extremely secretive organization,” says David Osborn, an organizer with Occupy Portland’s Portland Action Lab, which is spearheading the national protest… “Our goal is to expose the destructive role that it plays in our society.”
ALEC bills itself as a “nonpartisan membership organization for conservative state lawmakers” and it works to bring together elected officials and big corporations to draft legislation promoting conservative causes. ALEC drafts bills for use on the state level, including Arizona’s recently enacted anti-immigration legislation (a similar bill is currently being debated in Utah).
Via Mother Jones, here are some of the planned actions against ALEC:
- Southern California: Actions targeting one of the largest Walmart distribution centers in support of nonunion warehouse workers
- New York City: A teach-in by Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi (coiner of the “vampire squid” meme) and actions targeting Bank of America, Pfizer, and the Koch brothers
- Salt Lake City: A mock debutante ball in the state capitol that will draw attention to a Utah replica of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law
- Portland, Oregon: Actions targeting ALEC corporations throughout the city
- Phoenix: A rally at the state capitol focusing on union-busting and anti-immigrant bills followed by a “museum-style” tour of ALEC corporations