70 Cities Nationwide Stand up to Corporate Greed and ALEC National Day of Action to Resist the Selling Out of the 99%

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Occupy Wall Street, NYC: press@occupywallst.org, 347-292-1444
Occupy Portland, OR: press@shutdownthecorporations.org, 503-208-6775

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 1%ers to push legislation representing corporate interests,”said Dana Balicki of Occupy Wall Street.  “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 Taibi; 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.

Occupy Portland

  • Rally at SW Ankeny and Waterfront at 11:30; March leaving at 1:00 with creative direct actions targeting ALEC corporations throughout the city.

Occupy Phoenix

  • 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.

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.

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OWS PR working group statement on the 99% Declaration

The 99% Declaration and its call for a “national general assembly” in Philadelphia in July is not affiliated with or endorsed by Occupy Wall Street, and the organizers’ plans blatantly contradict OWS’ stated principles.

Many news outlets are running articles suggesting that the Occupy movement is planning a “national general assembly” in Philadelphia in July. This initiative, referred to as The 99% Declaration, is driven by a not-for-profit corporation called The 99 Percent Working Group, LTD., and is not endorsed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The group’s plans blatantly contradict OWS’ Statement of Autonomy, as passed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street, where The 99% Declaration generated more controversy than consensus. The proposal was also rejected by the General Assembly of Occupy Philadelphia, which passed a resolution stating, “We do not support the 99% Declaration, its group, its website, its National GA and anything else associated with it.”

The people of Occupy Wall Street are doubtlessly animated by many of the same concerns addressed by the points in the draft 99% Declaration. However, the group’s plan to select delegates representing each Congressional District to ratify a petition to present to the U.S. government while threatening to run candidates for positions in this corrupted system runs counter to OWS’ commitment to direct democracy, grassroots people power, and building a better society from the bottom up.

When reporting on stories concerning the convening of national ‘Occupy conventions,’ registration of political parties and political action committees, and other high-profile initiatives, we strongly urge reporters, editors, and producers to vet these stories by contacting the official press relations working group of Occupy Wall Street.

From OWS’ Statement of Autonomy:  “Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.”

The Press Relations Working Group of Occupy Wall Street
press@occupywallst.org
347-292-1444