Although this is a press release for a single action, it is important to note that countless other actions took place all across the U.S today in a coordinated effort to shut down the corporations affiliated with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).
Wednesday February 29th
Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler LLP
Wells Fargo Center
1300 SW Fifth Avenue
Courtney Eastman, Portland Animal Defense League- (209) 559-0577, firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Rights Activists Occupy Office of ALEC Chair
Portland, OR – On Wednesday, February 29th, Animal Defense League and has occupied the offices of Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler and Paul S. Cosgrove, the state corporate co-chair for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ADL has taken this action as part of the international day of action to shut down corporations and ALEC affiliates on February 29th.
As the Oregon state corporate co-chair of ALEC, Paul S. Cosgrove of lobbying firm Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler LLP is responsible for the myriad of legislation that institutionalizes animal exploitation and ecological devastation. ALEC represents the interests of some of the most notorious corporations synonymous with animal abuse and environmental degradation- AstraZeneca, Bayer, BP, Cargill, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries, Monsanto, Novartis, Peabody Energy, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Sanofi-Aventis.
ALEC has written legislation forcing communities to accept the abusive practices of factory farming industries, including the Ag-Gag bills of Florida and Iowa, which criminalize the filming of cruel practices on factory farms. ALEC has written legislation that would allow the seizure of public lands such as wilderness areas and National Parks for resource extraction. ALEC has passed legislation, specifically the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), that labels and convicts activists that oppose these corporations and their activities as “terrorists,” silencing dissent and enabling corporate control and destruction.
“Paul S. Cosgrove, Oregon state corporate co-chair of ALEC, facilitates the systematic abuse of animals trapped on factory farms, caged in laboratories and surviving in the wild,” says Courtney Eastman of Animal Defense League. “Because the ALEC corporations Mr. Cosgrove represents stand in the way of ecological balance and freedom for all species, we demand he and his law firm, Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler LLP, cut their ties with ALEC immediately.”
Three activists from the Animal Defense League covertly entered the Wells Fargo Center and made their way up to the 34th floor of the building, to the offices and Paul S. Cosgrove and Lindsay, Hart, Neil and Weigler. There, the activists chained themselves to together and physically began occupying the office in an act of nonviolent direct action.
For more information, please visit: http://pdxanimaldefenseleague.org/
Better late than never. Are you getting involved tomorrow? Check out the shut down the corporations site for details about whats happening in your area.
Occupy Oakland has faced heavy police repression since its inception. From the first police raid on October 25th, when the camp was violently destroyed and people were brutally tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets, to the recent targeted snatchings and arrests of the last couple weeks, and finally to the attack on Occupy Oakland in its attempt to move into a vacant building which manifested itself in tear gas, rubber bullets, assault grenades and the mass arrest of up to 400 people last night, Oakland’s Police Department and City Government have made it clear that they will continue to target and repress those in Occupy Oakland in the attempt to squash the movement that challenges their exploitation, and oppression of the people of Oakland and the 99%. Often those arrested have had their charges dropped after spending several days in jail due to lack of evidence. The newest tactic being used by the state is stay away orders, given to those arrested, making it illegal for those arrested to be in the vicinity of Oscar Grant Plaza, essentially making it illegal to participate in future Occupy Oakland events. Many of these people have been around since the beginning of occupy and are key organizers for different committees and actions.
While many members of Occupy have come to support those arrested at arraignments, picked people up from jail when they were released, called local officials or marched in solidarity with those who have been repressed, Occupy Oakland has yet to have a chance to present our side of the facts in court. Feb 6th will be Occupy Oakland’s day for that. On this day, it will be the first time that lawyers working with Occupy will be able to argue against the repressive tactics used by the OPD and present evidence of unlawful activities and arrests.
We the Anti-Repression Committee of Occupy Oakland are proposing a Day of Action in solidarity with those that have been arrested and targeted by the local government and OPD. We will begin the day with Coffee Not Cops at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse starting at 9:00 AM, then at noon we will be organizing a rally at OGP with speakers that will address local and state police repression and the prison industrial complex. At 1:00 PM, we will march to the courthouse to stand in solidarity with those in court at 2:00 PM. Occupy Oakland endorses this action.
Additionally, in light of the massive amounts of arrests on Move-in Day, there will be a day of arraignments that come out of those arrests. We want to have a Day of Action Against Police Repression on the day of those arraignments as well. This day will be planned with a similar schedule as the Day of Action on February 6th.
We want all of Occupy Oakland to stand in solidarity with those who have been arrested and who have faced any form of police repression. Stand with us on February 6th!
“We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.
We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the four of us we have six children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 31 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.
We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.
Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?
We love being behind the wheel. We are proud of the work we do to keep America’s economy moving. But we feel humiliated when we receive paychecks that suggest we work part time at a fast-food counter. Especially when we work an average of 60 or more hours a week, away from our families.
There is so much at stake in our industry. It is one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations. We don’t think truck driving should be a dead-end road in America. It should be a good job with a middle-class paycheck like it used to be decades ago.
We desperately want to drive clean and safe vehicles. Rigs that do not fill our lungs with deadly toxins, or dirty the air in the communities we haul in.
Poverty and pollution are like a plague at the ports. Our economic conditions are what led to the environmental crisis.
You, the public, have paid a severe price along with us.
“As of November 27, 2011, the Occupy movement in every major West Coast port city: Occupy LA, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle have joined Occupy Oakland in calling for and organizing a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade and Shutdown on December 12, 2011. Other West Coast Occupies, including Occupy Anchorage and Vancouver, Canada are planning to join the economic blockade and disruption of the 1% on that date, according to organizers.
“We’re shutting down these ports because of the union busting and attacks on the working class by the 1%: the firing of Port truckers organizing at SSA terminals in LA; the attempt to rupture ILWU union jurisdiction in Longview, WA by EGT. EGT includes Bunge LTD, a company which reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last year and has economically devastated poor people in Argentina and Brazil. SSA is responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port truckers and is owned by Goldman Sachs. EGT and Goldman Sachs is Wallstreet on the Waterfront” stated Barucha Peller of the West Coast Port Blockade Assembly of Occupy Oakland.
“We are also striking back against the nationally’ coordinated attack on the Occupy movement. In response to the police violence and camp evictions against the Occupy movement- This is our coordinated response against the 1%. On December 12th we will show are collective power through pinpointed economic blockade of the 1%.”
Each Occupy is organizing plans for a mass mobilization and community pickets to shut down their local Port. The mobilization of over 60,000 people that shut down the Port of Oakland during the general strike on November 2, 2011 is the model for the West Coast efforts. Organizers state that a police attempt to disrupt the port blockade or police violence against any city participating will extend duration of the blockade on the entire coast.
“These Ports are public. People have a right to come to the Port and protest. The ILWU has historically honored picket lines at the Port.” stated Clarence Thomas, a member of ILWU Local 10.
ILWU longshore workers are involved as individuals in the planning of the Shutdown. “I am a longshoreman and I support the December 12th Blockade against EGT. EGT is a threat to the survival of the ILWU,” stated Anthony Leviege, a member of Local 10. Dan Coffman, the president of Local 21 in Longview, has publicly thanked the Occupy movement and Occupy Oakland for its actions on November 2nd.
Further interviews and details can be obtained through local Port Blockade committees and the Oakland West Coast Port Blockade Assembly.