[dropcap]F[/dropcap]airbanks, Alaska — Several Fairbanks residents and members of Defend the Sacred AK disrupted Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy’s budget “Road Show” sponsored and managed by Americans for Prosperity a group funded by the extreme conservative millionaire Koch brothers. They asked why the Governor was not addressing the approximately 500 Alaskans outside of the Westmark Hotel who could not attend the exclusive Governor meeting inside due to tickets being sold out.
Inside the Westmark the Governor spoke to a small room of people, limited to those who could procured tickets. Dunleavy and Americans for Prosperity required each attendee to sign up for a ticket in advance, limiting the dialogue with Alaskans who demand a fair and democratic process to discuss the state’s budget.
Inside the “Road Show” event Governor Dunleavy defended his many budget cuts, saying they would allow the legislature to address “the root causes of the budget deficit.” At which point Fairbanks residents stood up to articulate the failure of the Governor’s plan and draw ties to the fact that the oil and gas industry are the only benefactors of the Governor’s budget. They asked Dunleavy to go outside to engage with the hundreds of concerned Alaskans, who were union leaders, educators, public officials and more. As they spoke they unfurled a banner that read, “Dunleavy vs. DEMOCRACY #layoffthekoch.”
Organizers say the hashtag, #layoffthekoch symbolizes the addiction to corporate greed, and addressing the fact that the Governor is bought and sold by the Koch brothers through Americans for Prosperity.
Several Alaska State Troopers immediately descended upon the group of protestors, aggressively and forcefully pushing them out of the room.
“What do we do when our state is under attack? Stand Up, Fight Back!” was chanted as the Troopers and Fairbanks Police officers moved them out of the room. The group was informed that if they did not leave, they would be arrested.
The Governor’s Budget Road Show has growing community action across the state, as concerned Alaskans rally to oppose the Governor’s budget and demand a democratic process for discussion with the Governor about his budget. Currently, there are calls to recall Dunleavy in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Nome. In Nome earlier in the week, Brenda Evak was arrested for speaking loudly in the vicinity of the Dunleavy. Brenda was articulating her opposition to the Governor’s budget and his involvement with Americans for Prosperity.