Over 70 groups will answer a call put out by "Shut Down The Corporations" for a national day of "non-violent direct action" meant target corporations involved in the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Organizers accuse the large corporations of controlling lawmakers on the local and national level through ALEC, getting laws passed that benefit corporations rather than people.
"They are stealing democracy away from the people," said Steve White of Occupy Rockland. "They think their laws are being written in Washington or Albano, but they are being written in these back rooms."
Occupy Rockland will be part of that effort with a protest at the entrance to Pfizer's Pearl River Campus on Middletown Road, though it is not the only Pfizer location expecting an Occupy protest Wednesday.
Pfizer released the following statement regarding its membership in ALEC:
"On a bipartisan basis, Pfizer participates in a wide array of legislative organizations which seek to provide a positive forum for the exchange of ideas and public policy that advance the health of all Americans."
Occupy Rockland plans the following for Wednesday at Pfizer in Pearl River:
- 4 p.m. - March to the Pfizer visitor center to deliver their grievances
- 4:30 p.m. - Set up "Occupy Pfizer" at the main entrance
- 5 p.m. - Start Occupy Rockland general assembly
- 5:30 p.m. - Recite grievances and discuss the impact of ALEC and Pfizer.
- 6 p.m. - People's soapbox
White said he is concerned about the weather for Wednesday, which calls for temperatures in the 30s and a mix of snow and rain. He was hopeful that Pfizer would not try to disrupt the protest.
"If they want to get technical on us, they could say it's their property and kick us across the street to the sidewalk, which is not the end of the world," White said. "But they probably don't want to make it bigger than it is, so it is probably not very smart on their part to harass us.
"We're a very mellow group. Not anything wild."
White said that in addition to raising concerns about ALEC, Occupy Rockland also has issues with what Pfizer has done since the merger with Wyeth.
"(Wyeth) was a good employer," White said. "People could get jobs there making a living wage. Pfizer essentially cannibalized it. They are closing operations down. They have laid off a thousand people right now.
"They have basically been a very bad neighbor in Rockland County."
Pfizer released a statement on that matter as well:
"For more than 150 years, Pfizer has been committed to being a good corporate citizen and our track record proves it."