| News |

"Anarchists" to Blame For ALEC Disruption; "Occupiers" Relatively Tame. Cops Break Out the Pepper Spray

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Phoenix police were forced to use pepper-spray on a group of demonstrators protesting the American Legislative Exchange Council at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in northeast Phoenix this afternoon when the activists raised a little hell in front of the resort.

In at least one instance, a protester attacked police -- who were decked-out in full riot gear -- with a pole that had nails and screws sticking out of it.

Many of the protesters are part of the "Occupy Phoenix" movement that's (sort of) been going on in downtown Phoenix for nearly two months.

The "occupiers," however, were relatively well behaved, sources who were at the protest tell New Times. Some of their friends, on the other hand, were the main cause of the disturbance.

"Unfortunately a few Anarchist have joined the occupied movement and crowds tried to push their way through the police line on to the resort property," Phoenix Sergeant Trent Crump says. "OC spray was deployed twice on aggressive groups, which was effective in stopping their actions."

Many of those "anarchists" were from out of state, our source says, and were bussed in for the sole purpose of protesting the ALEC conference.

So far, Crump says, seven protesters have been arrested on charges of obstructing government operations, criminal damage and assault on a police officer.

ALEC describes itself as a non-partisan organization designed to "advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America's state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public."

Check out the group's website here.

Left-wing activists feel the organization has too much power over state Legislatures and uses corporate influence to impact policy decisions. Many lefties credit the organization with everything from promoting private prisons, to beating back labor unions, and even hold it somewhat responsible for SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law.

See our story on ALEC here.

The conference is scheduled to run through Friday -- and we have a feeling the protesters won't be going anywhere.

Check back for updates.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.