#F29: Occupy Goes After ALEC & Corporate America; Matt Taibbi Rips Into Bank of America

posted by scott parkin
via Rolling Stone

Today, #F29, a global day of action against a shadowy corporate front group called the American Legislative Exchange Commission (ALEC), has turned into a revitalization of the Occupy movement.

ALEC creates model legislation written to increase the profits of large corporations, and hands it off in secret to lawmakers who then introduce it as their own. ALEC has been responsible for some of the worst legislation on a variety of issues introduced into state houses in the past few years. This includes Scott Walker’s union-busting bill in Wisconsin, the anti-immigrant SB 1070 in Arizona, and other anti-labor and climate denial legislation.

ALEC has a rolodex of the worst corporations, like Exxon, Walmart, Pfizer, and BP, as its corporate members. That list also includes Bank of America, the largest forecloser of homes in the U.S. and the largest funder of coal in the U.S.

The Occupy movement is striking hard and fast and we are seeing environmental, social justice, and anti-capitalist activists across the country and world taking action against ALEC and its corporate members.

via Rolling Stone

Today’s action includes:

  • A massive six-hour blockade and shutdown at the Walmart distro center near Los Angeles led to a police attack and standoff.
  • A huge march going on in Portland right now will be visiting ALEC members throughout the downtown area.
  • Rallies, protests and actions across the country from Bozeman, MT to Charlotte, NC to Orlando, FL with about 80 other cities in the mix.
  • Marches and blockades throughout New York City to Pfizer and Bank of America offices. And a teach-in featuring Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi.
via Rolling Stone

Occupy Wall Street’s public teach-in with Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi (coiner of the “vampire squid” meme) was about Bank of America. While Occupy Wall Street groups shut down Bank of America branches around Mid-Town Manhattan, Taibbi called Bank of America “the biggest welfare recipient in America” and suggested that customers “should absolutely take your money out of Bank of America.

Despite flashy public relations jujitsu, Bank of America is one of the most troubled financial institutions in the world right now. It has lost major profits, closed branches, laid off tens of thousands of employees, and had thousands of customers close their accounts in the just the past few months. Thought leaders are beginning to question the consolidation BoA has been doing the past few decades, and are calling to break up Bank of America into smaller pieces.

The bank’s vulnerability is an opportunity for environmental, social justice and anti-capitalist campaigns. As Taibbi said: “Bank of America is a great target for #ows – its barely hanging on, but enough public pressure could put it under.