Today (10/25) Occupy Atlanta will hold a press conference at 3pm. Every town has its villains and Atlanta is certainly no exception. Over the last few news cycles it would appear that Occupy Atlanta’s archenemy is Mayor Kasim Reed. We never anticipated having such strong beef with Mayor Reed, as many of the Occupiers actually campaigned for the man.
Today we expose two of our city’s real villains, the Koch brothers. Koch industries have operations in 45 states and 60 countries. They operate primarily out of the Georgia Pacific Building located in Atlanta, GA.
The Koch Brothers spend vast amounts of money influencing policy decisions to benefit their corporate interests. Some of the issues on their agenda include repealing the health care law, denying climate change, fighting Wall St. reform, dismantling collective bargaining rights, fighting reductions in carbon emissions, keeping corporate money in elections, and fighting against net neutrality. They finance many think tanks and right wing organizations, including Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks, The Heritage Foundation, The Federalist Society, The Mercatus Center, and hundreds more. Since the late 1990s they have spent over $100 million on right wing think tanks and advocacy groups. They also spend money donating directly to politicians and campaigns. The Koch brothers and their employees are the largest single oil and gas donors to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They donated money to 62 of the 87 freshman members of the House of Representatives. Americans for Prosperity is the main bankroller of the Tea Party and assist in most of their major organizing functions. They also spend money on local state elections. They have spent $5.2 million on state elections since 2003, including $500,355 in the state of Georgia, $15,600 of which went to Governor Nathan Deal. They also keep a close relationship with Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. This is just a small example of the amount of money that the Koch brothers spend influencing decisions in Washington.
We demand that the Koch brothers withdraw all of their money from politics by 5:30pm on Tuesday October 25th. If they do not capitulate we will levitate the Georgia Pacific building where they do their business. Capitulation or levitation? The choice is theirs.