Occupy Providence crosses state lines today for a protest at a Pfizer facility in Groton, Conn. The action is being endorsed by several Occupy groups from Connecticut and Massachusetts, and will include “protest, street theater, puppetry, teach-ins, speakers, music, food, and more,” according to a press release sent this morning.
“Pfizer feels it is their right to control our government with money, have their interests held above the interests of the people,” according to the press release. “Now it is our time to show them we want our cities, our state, and our country back. Plans are being made to show Pfizer we are no longer silent, and refuse to allow their horrors to continue any longer.”
The protest is part of a national day of action designed to target corporations that are involved with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Funded by companies like Pfizer, Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries, ALEC writes and then, through local supporters, advocates for legislation at the state level.
“It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions,” according to a New York Times editorial earlier this month. “All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.”
The Times wrote that ALEC “had been involved with” writing a bill in Virginia that would “require voters to show a form of identification.” A similar bill passed in Rhode Island last legislative session and its sponsor, Rep Jon Brien, D-Woonsocket, has been identified as one of two state chairmen of ALEC in Rhode Island by SourceWatch.org.
“ALEC that has modeled hideous anti-consumer protection laws, anti-democracy voter suppression laws and even disinformation programs about global warming,” according to the Occupy Providence press release. “We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people.”