Panama City Occupy Protesters March to Patronis' Office

By: Kavontae Smalls Email
By: Kavontae Smalls Email

Members of Occupy Panama City took to the streets Thursday to protest for what they call a threat to democracy.

About two dozen people staged a demonstration in McKenzie Park calling for State Representative Jimmy Patronis to resign as the Florida Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.

ALEC is an organization of corporations that propose pro-business legislation, but opponents claims ALEC backs bills that disenfranchise millions of Americans. One of those is the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law which George Zimmerman is using as a defense for shooting Trayvon Martin.

The local protesters marched from McKenzie Park to Patronis’ downtown legislative office to deliver their message, but Patronis was not available at the time.

"We just think corporations have too much influence on our legislators and we would like for them to pay more attention to the students who are burdened down with debt, the unemployed, the under-employed, the people that don't have health insurance. These we think are the 99-percent" said Robert Gilmore, Occupy Panama City.

"I'm sure there are good intentions there, but there's alot more to me or ALEC than what they've read on the blogs or have come to in their own conspiracy theories" said Representative Jimmy Patronis, (R) Panama City Beach.

Patronis says ALEC acts as a clearing house for state legislators to discuss how to solve problems.

Several large corporations have dropped their memberships in ALEC after protesters threatened to boycott them.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mike Location: pc on May 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM
    The real question for all voters is- Would you buy a used car off of anyone in the GOP??? Romney, has been caught being a bully and says he doesn't remember? He even abused his own dog! It seems the GOP can no longer be trusted and the flip flopping is now out of control. It's sad to watch him self destruct.
  • by andyb Location: peachtreecity ga on May 12, 2012 at 09:38 AM
    I have been down there and going again this weekend , what is killing the people is the cost of goods and with little wages they get it is hard to make ends meet unless you have a plantain tree in your yard at least you can eat cheap. and fruit trees but the worse is the. education system it is not good and need to bring the nation up to par with America. The manual labor doesn't pay enough and if this continues it will get real bad for people who live, visit, or retire there .
  • by Geoffrey Location: Florida on May 12, 2012 at 04:59 AM
    Instead of screaming "get a job" -- Maybe spending a few precious minutes to become educated about ALEC would be in order. The majority of individuals I've interacted with that take the the time to participate in these protests actually work 40 hours a week, like the rest of us. I am disgusted that wall street types spend their time thinking about how to steal the money of hardworking taxpayers like me with bailouts when their get rich schemes fail.
  • by derek Location: west end on May 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM
    While I have not really engaged in any research into their policies, I am glad that they are 1. Young/Energetic and 2. Politically active. Their position is up for interpretation, sure - but the fact that they have decided to get off the couch and act is less impeachable. It's certainly more activity than kvetching in the comments section. :]
  • by annette Location: Gainesville on May 11, 2012 at 07:36 AM
    The Occupy protesters are actually very well informed folks. Not many people had ever heard of ALEC before the protests. Now everyone can google ALEC and read their official site and start to understand that it is a club for billionaire corporations and your congressmen; no one else need apply. Actual legislation is written there and handed off to these "Representatives" who sponsor them. You can bet these laws are not "for the people" since they are certainly not "by the people".
  • by Tom Location: Panama City on May 11, 2012 at 07:36 AM
    This is what we get from WJHG, wow great news! Keep giving these pathetic people the press they want. I just wish the press would call them out as the jealous, lazy, no good for society people they are. Socialism and communism have been proven not to work, know your history; help those truly in need of help, but don't make the entire society dependent on the government. Dictator Obama wants that though...VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!
  • by Dave Location: pcb on May 11, 2012 at 07:27 AM
    I would agree that like the Communist these people are against wall street bankers but when those people steel all of our retirement and savings I would think you would have to be nuts to defend them. I respect these occupy people for having the guts to stand up to corruption and pity those of you who don't even know you have been screwed.
  • by Anon Location: Panama City on May 11, 2012 at 05:20 AM
    The "Occupy" protesters Don't represent me. they are only pushing their communist agenda. they want everyone to give them something for nothing. they one everyone to make the money no matter what job you do.
  • by Brian Location: Panama City on May 10, 2012 at 11:16 PM
    Laughing at the uneducated, ill-informed liberal protesters who, before a few days ago, thought that ALEC was a really cool actor and Democrat supporter in Hollywood. Now, all they know is what a few leftist websites have instructed them to regurgitate.
  • by sharon Location: panama city beach on May 10, 2012 at 09:27 PM
    I believe Mr.Patronis is being evasive. Politicians are generally good at this technique.
    • reply
      by Allen on May 11, 2012 at 07:33 AM in reply to sharon
      Really Sharon...REALLY?!!! Come-on, Jimmy is a good politician and a Great Christian Man!!! He's dealing with these dumb-down ignorant baffoons... Don't get sucked into their stupidity, God gave you a brain, use it!!! Stop being a follower, be a leader.
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