On September 5, 2012, eight people were arrested, handcuffed, and ultimately given citations for simply holding signs in the Wisconsin State Capitol. This may come as a surprise to the hundreds of thousands of people who marched through the Capitol in February and March of 2011 proudly holding home-made signs that denounced Governor Scott Walker's attack on collective bargaining rights, but there's a new sheriff in town -- a new Capitol Police chief to be exact.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) sent a message to hundreds of legislators and corporations across the country attacking the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the creator of ALECexposed.org. Among other things ALEC claimed, "CMD is an attack-dog, not a watch-dog."
Global corporations like Dow Chemical, Adidas, and McDonald's are paying upwards of $100 million USD to sponsor the 2012 London games and associate themselves with the Olympic brand -- but with their brands already well-established, what do corporations get in exchange for these expensive sponsorship deals?
Benefit Reception at Madison's Overture Center August 20th
Madison -- Legendary singer Bonnie Raitt and her special guest, civil rights icon Mavis Staples, will be performing live at Madison's Overture Center at 7:30 p.m. on August 20, 2012. Raitt has chosen the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) as the beneficiary of premium tickets combined with a special "meet and greet" reception backstage following her show.
Thousands of nurses from around the world descended upon Daley Plaza, in the heart of Chicago on May 18, to demand that the richest nations in the world put an end to austerity politics and start asking the people who collapsed the global economy to do more to "heal the world."
Wearing red National Nurses United (NNU) scrubs calling for "an economy for the 99%" and zippy green Robin Hood hats, made for them in Europe, the nurses were joined by Occupy Chicago and thousands of community activists in what may be one of the most colorful demonstrations in days of protests marking the G8 meeting at Camp David and the NATO Summit in Chicago.
This spring, in coordinated actions across the country, retirees who lost their pensions, families whose homes are underwater, students with impossible debt, the unemployed and underemployed, family farmers, immigrants, vets and more will be knocking on the doors of corporate boardrooms, holding CEOs of major American firms responsible for crashing the economy then turning their backs on their fellow Americans. With hundreds of shareholders on the inside and thousands of folks on the outside, the largest shareholder demonstrations in U.S. history are underway and spreading across the land.
Their goal is nothing short of transformational: to wrest control of our democracy back from the robber barons and CEOs that systematically block any effort to create an economy and a body politic that serves the needs of the vast majority of Americans and not the elite few.
With all the national media attention on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over these past several weeks, few realize that a campaign to lift the veil on ALEC's operations and agenda began almost one year ago. This week marks the anniversary of the first public rallies in opposition to ALEC. This is the story of the power of ordinary extraordinary individuals to stand up, speak out and make an enormous difference in defense of democracy.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), an online activist group, announced that they will be putting pressure on the minority of Democrats who are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to dump ALEC.
ALEC claims that they are a nonpartisan organization that is "bipartisan" like the National Conference of State Legislators, but ALEC's leadership is overwhelmingly Republican as is its membership, a fact conceded by ALEC scholar and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore in a recent interview. ALEC says it has 2,000 legislative members. The total number of Democratic legislators is unknown, but according to the PCCC, there are 26 states with Democratic lawmakers that belong to ALEC.
When all is said and spun, some will judge the veracity of Governor Scott Walker's administration by a single number it released in March 2011.
The "Wisconsin Uprising" hit its stride in February-March, 2011 with more than 100,000 protesters rallying outside the Capitol and thousands more inside, including hundreds who occupied overnight for up to three weeks. When the administration was seeking to limit public access to the Capitol during the protests, the Wisconsin Department of Administration's chief counsel Cari Anne Renlund, told a judge hearing the access case that the cleanup would cost $6 million to repair damaged marble inside the Capitol, $1 million for damage outside and $500,000 for costs to supervise the damage. The estimates (which were the same as the original cost of the entire construction of the Capitol nearly a century ago) were based largely on alleged tape residue damage from signs. Protestors countered that they had consulted with preservationists and used marble-safe blue painter's tape. Their militant adherence to the blue tape was visible to every Capitol visitor.
Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker was in Illinois, speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce on April 17, and a huge crowd of protestors was there to "unwelcome" him.
While Walker compared himself to Honest Abe on the inside of the Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, an estimated 4,000 workers rallied on the outside. Props included a giant rat and a large Walker image on a board imprinted with the words "don't Badger us."