The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Catherine Murrell, 312.523.3882

70+ "Victims" Stage Die-in to Protest ALEC-Sponsored Stand Your Ground Laws

Hoodie-Wearing Protesters Mark First Day of ALEC Convention with Call for Repeal of Notorious Stand Your Ground Legislation


Over 70 hoodie-wearing protesters staged a die-in at the main entrance of the Palmer House Hilton this morning to mark the first day of the American Legislative Exchange Council's 40th anniversary conference.

The hoodies the "victims" wore were a visual reference to ALEC-sponsored Stand Your Ground laws made notorious in the aftermath of George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin. The hoodies were adorned with gun targets and a call to "Repeal Stand Your Ground." In a mass wave, the protesters "died" on the sidewalk in front of the posh hotel, laying their bodies down as a representation of the deadly consequences of Stand Your Ground legislation.

"As a Latina, Stand Your Ground is detrimental to my safety and that of all people of color," said protester Angelica Sanchez of the Illinois Hunger Coalition. "I have to worry that if someone doesn't like my skin color or the way I talk, they'll decide I'm a threat."

Shani Smith with Stand Up! Chicago spoke out about her anxieties as the mother of a black teenager. "These laws encourage people to act on irrational fears fed by biases and prejudice. I know that where I see my son--a caring, creative, vulnerable young man--others may see a dangerous stranger. We've lost enough young black men in this country to fear and prejudice."

At the conclusion of the die-in, protesters rose to cries of "Stand Up to ALEC." Following a brief rally, the crowd made plans to reconvene at noon on Thursday at the same location for the mass ALEC Exposed rally.

Hundreds of protesters from around Chicago and the country are expected to turn out for the Thursday rally to speak out against ALEC's corporate agenda which promotes anti-worker, pro-big-business policies that hurt working families, privatize schools and prisons, and put communities at risk.

**View images from today's die-in online. Higher resolution images and video available upon request.**

Stand Up! Chicago is a coalition of community and labor organizations and working families standing up together to demand good jobs and a strong investment in our community's schools and neighborhoods.