24 Arrested in Occupy ALEC in Arizona (video)

Scores marched last week in Scottsdale to protest ALEC, a national organization whose membership is composed of primarily Republican legislators and some 300 corporations including BP and Amazon.com and which promotes an anti-immigration, anti-union and anti-federal health-care reform agenda. ALEC was holdings its annual “States and Nation Summit,” at which “model bills” supporting its pro-corporate interests are devised. 19 out of 36 such bills have been introduced into the Arizona state legislature.

ALEC stands for  the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with approximately $6.5 million in annual revenue. APEC receives significant funding from the Charles Koch Foundation (CFK) and other hard-right groups.

Last Wednesday (November 30), the first day of the ALEC summit, dozens of protesters marched to the Kierland Westin Resort and Spa in an attempt to shut down the meeting. They were pepper sprayed and eight people were arrested. At least 100 police officers had been stationed at each entrance to the resort, two helicopters were spotted overhead and police cars lined the streets. One of those pepper-sprayed was David Ortega, O’odham community member who was sprayed so much with a “cloud” of the peppery stuff that he suffered a stroke. He was initially refused “medical” assistance from EMS but was eventually provided with this and sent to the hospital, which he was released from the following day.

Here’s a video of the Phoenix protest:

On Friday (December 1), Indigenous Dine’ (Navajo) and O’odham elders and supporters attempted to occupy the headquarters of Salt River Project (SRP) in Tempe. SRP is not only a member of ALEC, but holds a seat on ALEC’s corporate board. A resident of Black Mesa, Louise Benally, described in a letter how SRP’s operations are affecting her community and our nation’s archaeological heritage.

“My community is heavily impacted by Salt River Project’s coal and water extraction activities. SRP has extensive ties to Peabody Energy’s massive mining operations and the Navajo Generating Station which they co-own. Coal mining has destroyed thousands of archeological sites and our only water source has been seriously compromised. Their operations are causing widespread respiratory problems, lung diseases, and other health impacts on humans, the environment, and all living things.

“…We demand that SRP & Peabody [the world's largest private-sector coal company and an ALEC member] meaningfully involve the indigenous communities they are impacting, and that they convert to non-fossil fuel based energy sources and address the health impacts on our communities.”

Ofelia Rivas, founder of O’odham VOICE against the Wall and an elder, spoke of how proposed highway construction would devastate sacred land. 16 were arrested, including five protesters who locked down in the building.

As of Saturday, December 3, all who were arrested in the Occupy ALEC protests have been released. To help in their legal defense, including that of a young man named Branson who was present at a December 2 march in downtown Phoenix and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, go here.

Keep up the fight to stop ALEC.

Related Care2 Coverage

Occupy ALEC in Arizona: Fight Corporate Influence In State Laws

Smart ALEC: One Group is Taking Over Our State Legislatures

Tell Gov. Walker To Stop Disenfranchising Voters




Photo by luccast85


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener7 years ago

So much for freedom of opinion... or freedom of choice in general!

Eddie Obler
Eddie O7 years ago

For anyone who is “sincerely” caring about this country, and wants to open their eyes to what’s really going on, please click on the link below and read this article. The author, with many, many, years of inside experience, feels BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTIES ARE ROTTEN, and presents his case in a very: clear, factual, thorough, way.


John Mansky
John Mansky7 years ago

Thank you for the article...

Diane Stollger
Diane Stollger7 years ago

Every time something like this happens, I think it just strengthens the movement. And the police don't even seem to realize they are fighting on the wrong side. Just disgusting the way they are treating people.

Penny C.
penny C7 years ago


Vivianne Mosca-Clark

ALEX is helping to destroy this country. They have ego's that think they know how to control the people of this country and the world. As the laws made here effect the rest of the planet also. That is why a lot of the states that are taking out the laws that help us, to laws that are destroying us.
When we stop the companies and their people that are the 1%...we will see who the .01 % that is really running the whole show. We have been peeling off the layers and are getting to the core of this whole fresco.

Claudia O.
Claudia O7 years ago

When words fail, use pepper spray. That is what the state does. Spray and try to make people shut up. How's that working for 'em?!

Gloria H.
Gloria H7 years ago

every time I see a video like this my blood pressure skyrockets. So angry to see citizens getting sprayed by robocops. It's like the first thing the cops do,intimidate with armor and sheilds like the early Roman army, physically threaten any one with a differing opinion. This is a damned police state.Unlike the Romans, no one has yet to be crucified to "set an example" to the defeated populace. Maybe the powers that be will stage football games twelve months a year in lieu of gladiator fights to placate any unrest.
Pepper spray just isnt working.

lost my post.
Everytime I see a video like this, my blood pressure skyrockets. It is so much like the Roman army, shields and all, using brute force (oh, excuse me "aggressive action/arrests) to control the skanky barbarians (or any culture that got in their way). Comes down to Speech and Be Sprayed. At least they havent resorted to crucifying dissenters..that worked pretty well in the past. So did the Gladiator Games...hey, why not 12 months of football as a replacement? Oooh Cops VS Occupiers or just throw people in an arena and have cops beat them with batons? Many converts to Christianity came from the crowd witnessing Christians going to martydom...somewhere along the line, spectators began to sympathize.

Linda T.
Linda T7 years ago

This is a disgusting display of misuse of power. Shame on them and their Governor for allowing such displays unprofessionalism. I don't remember once seeing the pepper spray coming out when the gun toting Tea Party was carring their hate speech signs which would seem more threatening than these protesters.

Marianna B M.
Marianna Molnar7 years ago