“ALEC is where our struggles merge,” proclaimed the ALEC Welcoming Committee, a broad coalition of environmental, student, labor, women’s and radical groups organizing a week’s worth of protest against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as it gathered for its annual summit at the Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, last week.
More than a hundred activists welcomed ALEC for the opening of its five-day meeting with a “Parade of Empty Plates.” They surrounded the hotel, banging pots and pans, to highlight the devastating consequences ALEC’s corporatist lobbying has for the poor and middle class. The action and subsequent temporary occupation of Washington Square Park, across the street from the ALEC meetings, received good local media coverage and highlighted some Utahns’ concerns that Governor Gary Herbert is in ALEC’s pocket.
Organizer and spokesperson Raphael Cordray said that the ALEC Welcoming Committees’ goals are to continue exposing what they see as ALEC’s corporate cronyism and the arrogance of state legislators who have used it to become overly cozy with corporate interests.
“Corporations are so entrenched in government that many legislators ...