Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Protests Continue with Actions Planned to Expose & Shutdown ALEC Conference
SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A diverse range of people and organizations are converging for a second day of planned protests against the secretive, nationwide organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Through ALEC, some of the most powerful corporations and thousands of state legislators meet to create laws to continue their drive for profits, and to control and destroy our communities and the earth.
Yesterday, hundreds marched and converged on the Kierland Westin Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, where ALEC is attempting to hold its annual “States and Nation Summit”.
Dozens of protesters were attacked by police with pepper spray and eight people were arrested in actions to shutdown the ALEC meeting. Continue reading
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
: Protesters Attacked by Police with Pepper Spray, Seven Arrested During Shutdown ALEC Action in Phoenix, AZ
SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Dozens of protesters were attacked by police with pepper spray and seven people have been arrested so far in a day of action against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
On November 30, starting at 8 am hundreds marched and converged on the Kierland Westin Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, where ALEC is attempting to hold its annual “States and Nation Summit”.
This is breaking news, the protest is planned to continue and grow through the day. More updates to follow.
“We will continue to use diversity of tactics to send the message to ALEC members that the we are watching and we will not stand for the further destruction of our communities and environment that ALEC members push into law in order to fill their own pockets.” Stated Alex Soto of O’odham Solidarity Across Borders. “The amount of force that police are using to protect ALEC’s corporate interests reveals how corrupt this system is.” Stated Soto.
An O’odham elder was transported to the hospital for breathing difficulties due to the police’s pepper spray attack. Continue reading
This is the text of a flier, which can be viewed or printed, here.
What!? Politicians and private companies get together to create laws that benefit those companies? AZ Senator Russell Pearce and other legislators from around the U.S. meet in a group called ALEC*.
You never thought it would be so blatant as private prison companies** having a say in laws that can create more demand for their facilities and services. How could people be criminalized so companies can profit from imprisoning them?!?! Not only is ALEC behind mandatory minimums and three strikes laws, they also had a hand in SB1070. When they see immigrants, they see dollar signs, and so they participate with other racists to paint immigrants as a problem–deserving of imprisonment. This is nothing new…
The deviousness that occurs within ALEC is just an example of how people are criminalized for profit. But it does not have to be as directly profitable as this. Colonization has of course provided settlers with land and other resources at the expense of those who are native.
Slave codes & convict leasing created crimes that made it easier to exploit the labor of people of color. Criminalizing unauthorized migration did the same thing, specifically affecting the Chinese and Mexicans for many decades. More recently, the drug war also criminalizes people of color more disproportionately to maintain racist policies without them appearing race-based.
* American Legislative Exchange Council
** Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Geo Group are the largest private prison companies.
More info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QDtTK1uxrg
Originally published in The Nation on August 1, 2011.
The breaded chicken patty your child bites into at school may have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners. At the Union Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.” Continue reading
In 2000, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 1,676,000 people attempting to enter the country without authorization, the highest number in nearly 15 years. By 2010, a complex constellation of factors resulted in the number of apprehensions dropping to 463,382, a reduction of 72 percent in just a decade. Despite the claims of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol’s parent agency), this reduction in apprehensions does not simply indicate that border enforcement is now more “effective,” nor does it translate perfectly into a reduction in the number of people successfully entering the U.S. Nonetheless, it is safe to assume that fewer people enter the country without documentation now than at most points in the past ten years.
Despite the decline in authorized entries, the militarization of the border and the criminalization of immigrant communities have continued to escalate dramatically since 2000. The U.S.-Mexico borderlands, which could be accurately described a decade ago as a “low-intensity warzone,” are more militarized than at any point in history, now resembling more a full-fledged war than anything else. The war’s antagonists are some 18,000 Border Patrol agents armed with tasers, M4 assault rifles and submachine guns. The array of advanced technology available to Border Patrol now includes electronic surveillance equipment, unattended ground sensors, remotely-controlled drone aircraft, and Blackhawk helicopters. Away from the border, the criminalization of immigrant communities results in hundreds of thousands of deportations every year. Continue reading
Originally published by Chaparral Respects No Borders on October 29, 2010
The private prisons’ involvement in passing SB1070 illuminates an aspect of the anti-immigrant tendency that complicates things and is often overlooked. Often the finger is pointed at racism as the cause of atrocities like SB1070, without looking at the bigger picture. This is not to say that racism plays no part, even as a basis on which the prison industrial complex functions, but the prejudicial views of Russell Pearce or the minutemen for example are not necessarily the main guiding force here. This is particularly interesting when we consider the potential of white people to reject racism and see it as manufactured rather than intrinsic.