A group of 100 or so protesters, who on Friday afternoon marched on the Marriott hotel in New Orleans, LA, where corporate lobbyists were voting with state lawmakers on “model” legislation at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) 38th Annual Meeting.
The protest, organized in part by LSU’s Student Labor Action Project, the Defend Ohio Campaign, and activists from across the country, began at the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown NOLA.
“Why aren’t major politicians here today? Because they’ve been bought by the elitists. When corporations control the dollars, they also control the government.”
At the Marriott, nearly 2,000 state legislators, the majority of whom are Republicans, met behind closed doors with corporate representatives to discuss the design and implementation of ALEC model legislation, and vote side by side on these bills. The event also featured speeches from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, two well known GOP figures whose luncheon presentations were sponsored, respectively, by PhRMA and Visa.
Protesters discussed the need for a national effort to dismantle the ALEC-forged “partnership” between elected officials and corporations. The lack of national media coverage also upset Sally Stevens, a local resident who has spent her entire life fighting poverty.
“Its definitely disappointing,” she said. “Their weapon of choice is manufacturing poverty. The only power I have is to call them out and do my best to prove them wrong.”