Picking up where I left off last post, Day 2 of protesting ALEC in Salt Lake City was a bit quieter than Monday, primarily because July 24th is a very important holiday in Utah. That day, called Pioneer Day, commemorates Brigham Young’s arrival into the Salt Lake valley in 1847; and as you might guess, all state employees, as well as many workers in private companies, have the day off. The morning starts out with the Days of 47 Parade, which commences about 9 in the morning and lasts until around noon hour with the parade ending at Liberty Park, a large 80-acre park in the downtown area. The celebration continues well into the afternoon at the park, with thousands of people attending the festivities. Seeing as how the local populace and the media were going to be focused on the parade and post-parade activities, and as there was not much ALEC activity going on at the Grand America Hotel (just registration), members of our ALEC welcoming committee thought it would be better to go over to Liberty Park rather than protest at the hotel. So they took a bunch of fliers and handouts with them and walked the 9 blocks from Washington Square to the park. That turned out to be more productive, as it became an education opportunity interacting with local residents.
Later in the afternoon, several went over to the hotel and chalked protest messages on the sidewalk, which the hotel groundskeepers didn’t appreciate, since they were sent out with a riding sweeper to clean them off, and there were words exchanged.
For Tuesday afternoon, we had a teach-in scheduled on Militarism and Corporate Rule, presented by one of our coalition partners, the Utah Antiwar Coalition, an up-and-coming group of young activists. The day’s planned activities ended with the teach-in. There was some media coverage on Tuesday by the local TV station(s), here and here.
Things really picked up on Wednesday (Day 3), the first day of the ALEC task force meetings and workshops. ALEC welcoming committee’s morning started out with a picket at the Grand America Hotel, followed by a teach-in called ALEC, Unions & Occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol given by Keith Roberts:
Teach-in: ALEC, Unions and the Occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol
When: Wed, July 25, 10am – 12pm
Where: City/County Building, Washington Square SW side (map)
Description: Taught by Keith Roberts, a senior research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. Keith J. Roberts is a Senior Research Fellow at University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for International Studies in Education. Roberts has held multiple administrative positions at higher education institutions, including Vice President for Academics at Brigham Young University–Hawaii from January 2000 to April 2008. Under Dr. Roberts’ guidance, BYU–Hawaii established multiple culturally-sensitive articulation programs with universities in China, Mongolia, Thailand, Fiji, Samoa, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Tahiti.