Police State/Civil Liberties

Major Corporations Are Backing Politicians’ Anti-Voting, Anti-Protest Efforts Around the Country

Notice that it is primarily the governments of red states and corporations that represent the right-wing of the ruling class (e.g. fossil fuels) that are behind this. This is the right’s counteroffensive to the growing hegemony of “woke capitalism.” Fragmentation within the capitalist class itself is growing, although we have to remember that the power elite itself is layered and stratified, with the ultra-elite who are part of the transnational ruling class ultimately calling the shots.

Since the start of the year, conservative lawmakers have promoted and enacted legislation in state capitols that seek to make it harder to vote. At the same time, state legislatures are passing laws to impose harsh punishments on public protests.

The dual efforts, aimed at subverting democracy, are also targeted to constrain the growing campaigns for racial and climate justice, and they have been aided by prominent corporations, according to a new report from Greenpeace.

Greenpeace found that there are 44 state legislators around the country that have both sponsored at least one anti-voter bill and one anti-protest bill, evidence of the overlap between the crackdowns. The efforts to suppress the vote and criminalize protest are “both consistent with a contempt for democracy,” Charlie Cray, one of the authors of the report, told DeSmog.

There is also overlap in the corporate backers of those legislators. Of the top 100 corporate donors to state lawmakers pushing anti-voter bills, 53 of them were also among the top 100 donors to anti-protest bill sponsors. Five companies — AT&T, Comcast, RAI Services, Phillip Morris/Altria, and UnitedHealth Group — ranked in the top 10 of companies that financially backed sponsors of both anti-voter and anti-protest bills.

Meanwhile, the report found that oil and gas companies, including Marathon Petroleum, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries, had the largest lobbying presence in support of anti-protest bills over the past five years.

These calls for more restrictive policies “are direct responses to very powerful democratic movements,” said Cray.

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