Civil Liberties & Political Repression
ALEC corporations are engaged in a war against the civil liberties of social justice, environmental, and animal rights activists. Through the passage of increasingly repressive and draconian legislation, ALEC corporations are silencing political dissent by singling out the effective movements that oppose their control by labeling them as terrorists or eco-terrorists. These fear mongering tactics not only unfairly criminalize activity that targets a specific industries, they produce a broader chilling effect on free speech and freedom of assembly.
ALEC is responsible for:
- The passage of AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) which denies equal protection to social justice activists and restricts freedom of speech and assembly. AETA brands as terrorism any activities that cross a state line and interfere with the operation of an animal enterprise or of any entity that deals with one. Such activities may include website posts, peaceful vigils, nonviolent civil disobedience, undercover investigations, and whistle-blowing.
- Drafting a revamped broader version entitled Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.
- Drafting ECO-PLAN (Environmental Corrupt Organizations-Preventative Legislation and Neutralization), which seeks to use RICO-style anti-corruption laws against ecological advocates.
- Introducing model “eco-terrorism” legislation that has already been introduced in at least 16 states.
- Drafting “Ag-Gag” Bills which criminalize photography, or video or audio recording, of what goes on at factory farms, animal experimentation labs, and other facilities.
While this list contains some of the worst examples of corporations eroding our civil liberties, all of ALEC’s Big Ag, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical corporate members are responsible the current state of political repression.
Monsanto – In a recent investigation by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation, it was revealed that subsidiaries of the mercenary firm Blackwater were hired by biotech giant Monsanto spy on animal rights and environmental activists in an effort to infiltrate their organizations and thwart their campaigning efforts.
PhRMA – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, is one of the largest and most influential lobbying organizations in Washington. Representing 48 pharmaceutical companies, PhRMA has 20 registered lobbyists on staff and has contracted with dozens of lobby and PR firms to promote its members’ interests which included the passage of AETA. PhRMA has a record of hiding its lobbying and PR activities, often by paying other organizations, such as United Seniors Association (USA) or the Consumer Alliance to advocate industry-friendly policies.
Procter & Gamble – A notable target among social justice, environmental and animal rights activists, Procter & Gamble has paid out fortunes to industry front groups like Policy Directions Inc., to help pass legislation that severely restricts the civil liberties of activists from all walks of life. Corporations like Procter & Gamble helped pass AETA.