“Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Dirty energy’s got to go!”
Several protestors raise signs and pass fliers at the entrance of Duke Energy Corporation in Uptown Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention this evening. Wearing nuclear jumpers and carrying megaphones, these protestors bring quite the crowd and quite the proclamation: for Duke Energy Corporation to drop support in right wing legislation, shut down funding from corporate money and to clean up the environment!
“I’m here as a part of several groups that I support here such as Green Peace and Color of Change,” says protestor Beth Henry, “and we’re calling on Duke Energy to dump ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council which is basically a right wing bill mill that writes a bunch of laws and then pushes them out to states to try to get them passed in state legislatures. Such as voter suppression laws and the Trayvon Martin Stand Your Ground laws and lots of bad environmental laws.”
As protestors are blockaded by both police and media, they say the goal is to bring education and awareness to passerby’s about ALEC and change the mind of Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers from investing in such negative groups.
However, those aren’t the only hot topics that protestors rise to. Claims were being brought to the streets by protestors that Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers, invested corporate money into the DNC being a part of the Host Committee. This was an issue because protestors also claimed that they were told that this was the first convention that would not accept any corporate or lobbying money.
Other claims suggested by protestors say that Jim Rogers also had Duke personally guarantee a $10 million dollar line of credit to the DNC and that he’s also given himself $100,000 of that $10 million.
“But the greatest travesty of all is the story of New American city, which has unfortunately not reached most of the press,” says protestor Michael Zytkow. The New American City fund is a fund that gives out corporate money to the convention to help layout the entire convention. According to protestors, this is the fund that the DNC Host Committee accepts, but claims otherwise to the public.
“They are a regulating utility, but they benefit from having access to the government and the federal government at all levels. The federal government and our state government,” says protestor Beth Henry, “They take our money because they are a monopoly and we all have to pay them. They take the money and pay lobbyists and politicians and then we can’t expect those people to make the best decisions for us!”
Other protestors in a group labeled, Green Peace, also carry pressing concerns about ALEC supporting companies such as Duke, Exon Mobile and Coke Industries ghost writing state laws that repeal climate change legislation that attack clean energy programs.
Protestors are definitely making their voices heard against these massive issues by already receiving over 150,000 signatures across the state for Duke Energy to dump ALEC.
“We want to get our petitions directly to Duke Energy to leave the American Legislative Exchange Council. It’s a major conflict of interest to say you support climate change legislation and clean energy when you’re funding a group that attacks those very laws in the state legislative level,” says Connor Gibson, protestor for Green Peace, “and then they’re funding ALEC which is huge in voter suppression laws.”
And standing below the entrance of Duke Energy, who knows what can or will happen?