Koch Brothers Echo Chamber

posted Jun 23, 2011, 9:45 AM by Student Labor Action Project LSU   [ updated Jun 23, 2011, 10:18 AM ]

The capitalist class in this country has a multitude of mechanisms at its disposal to push forward its interests in the halls of government and in the public discourse. These mechanisms may not always be as easily seen as who funds whose campaign, but as this video lays out can be just as effective. The Koch Brothers, like many other corporations, fund a variety of think-tanks that put together ideologically driven reports with policy suggestions that fall in line with the ideas of the particular section of the capitalist class  that is supporting them. These "studies" are then read by our professors, our media, and our legislators creating this invisible thread from the Koch Brothers to the public.

This process allows them to sell their ideas while appearing disconnected from them. It wasn't the Koch Brothers that appeared on ABC news to talk about raising the retirement age, it was the CATO Institute. It's not the Koch Brothers who are telling me that Social Security will be gone unless I vote for them, it was my candidate for the Senate. 

This just goes to show us that the fight against ALEC isn't enough and that campaign finance reform isn't enough. With the power and influence the capitalists have they will only create new mechanisms to insure their interests. In order to fight back and push forward with a progressive and strong pro-worker agenda we must stop submitting our demands to this system. We must begin to build our own independent mechanisms for pushing our interests. This means using our mass organizations (i.e. the unions) to build a labor party which can successfully fight for working families in the halls of government, in the streets, and in the public forum. 

March to the Marriott! Stand up and fight back in New Orleans!

posted Jun 2, 2011, 3:58 PM by Student Labor Action Project LSU

What Is ALEC?

They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want us silent.

On March 15th, University of Wisconsin Professor Bill Cronon posted a study guide on his blog on the history and actions of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He asked: What is behind the “sudden and impressively well-organized” wave of right-wing legislation targeting workers, students, women, immigrants, and the environment in state legislatures? He found that all roads led to ALEC.

ALEC is a conservative think-tank run by right-wing politicians and corporate and financial interests within the banking industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the big oil and gas industries, and others. They are aligned to many right-wing and conservative interests, including the election-manipulating Koch Industries.

For offering his research to the public, Professor Cronon then immediately found his character, privacy, and livelihood under attack by the GOP.

In Arizona, the text for anti-immigrant SB 1070 came from ALEC model legislation. In the Midwest, the attack on public servants had the same source. In Wisconsin and Ohio, ALEC is promoting voter ID laws that will disproportionately disenfranchise students. And finally, in Indiana, ALEC provided the text for a state resolution calling for an end to much federal environmental regulation. In 2009 alone, ALEC was behind over 800 laws written for state governments. Scratch the surface of right-wing state legislation, and you’ll most likely find ALEC underneath.

What Are We Doing?

Hoping to carry on the movement begun by a wonderful group of Ohio activists, we here in Baton Rouge and New Orleans are working to put together an even bigger demonstration that lets them know that they can’t hide and we will fight them nation wide!

ALEC’s legislation seeks to solve “crises” by attacking the vulnerable – often in ways that do very little to address the problems at hand, and that ultimately function to transform power structures in favor of private interests. We want to use this day of resistance to do more than just express discontent. We want to convey the message that there are policy alternatives to ALEC’s legislation – alternatives which demand that lawmakers begin to place the burden of solving crises on the powerful, not the vulnerable.

What Can You Do?

First, we need you in the French Quarter!

Resistance means feet on the ground and people in the street. Hop on a bus, take a train, or car pool with friends. We are communicating to a breadth of organizations and individuals negatively impacted by ALEC’s agenda that the time to fight back and propose our own solutions has come.

Second, we are looking for representatives of the many movements that ALEC works against to speak before our March to the Marriott. ALEC is a shining example of the right-wing’s united front of corporate and political forces, and they can only be stopped by the strength of solidarity. We, the working class, are poor, Black, immigrants, LGBTQIA, women, and union members. The only way we can put a stop to the work ALEC is doing is to unite in an independent political movement that not only challenges ALEC and it’s members on the streets but also in the halls of government. We must show them that we can fix the problems we face without breaking the backs of the working class!

Many opportunities will come up for individuals and groups opposed to ALEC’s attack on America to help out.

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