Occupy 2.0

posted by Amy Kingsley | Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Slogans that capture the interdisciplinary anger of the Occupy movement don’t come much pithier than this: Shit is fucked up and bullshit. A protester at the F29 (that’s Feb. 29) protest at NV Energy in Las Vegas stenciled that onto a piece of cardboard.

The afternoon protest attracted an edgier, but smaller, crowd than earlier Occupy protests. Many of the 40-odd activists wore Anonymous masks and jackets with patches. Many came to protest the utility’s government-sanctioned monopoly, its use of coal-fired plants and, of course, its role in the 2010 explosion that damaged Main Street businesses.

But the larger issue that inspired similar protests nationwide was the influence of the lobbying organization ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Protesters targeted NV Energy because they said it was a member of the group. ALEC is a public-private coalition of state legislators and corporate big wigs. According to a recent series in The Nation, the group crafts model legislation to deregulate industry and change tax laws that is subsequently introduced in statehouses across the country. Corporate members of ALEC can veto bills and alter the language as they see fit.

Some Nevada legislators belong to ALEC. And according to the blog Desert Beacon, some legislation remarkably similar to their model bills has surfaced in Carson City. If you believe that corporations shouldn’t have undue influence on the political process, you might agree with the sign-guy that it’s kinda fucked up.


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