News Story

'Occupy' Movement Member Ticketed for Trespassing as Fire Alarm Is Pulled Disrupting Free-Market Conference

Salt Lake City 'Occupy' group said it would disrupt ALEC events

Occupy protesters have disrupted corporate meetings and other events across the United States.

One Occupy Wall Street protester was ticketed for trespassing and a fire alarm went off over the weekend at the hotel holding the American Legislative Exchange Council's 39th annual meeting in Salt Lake City, according to Salt Lake City police.

Salt Lake City Police Detective Joshua Ashdown said that police were investigating how the fire alarm was pulled, but that nobody was seen doing it. Pulling a fire alarm is a misdemeanor, Ashdown said.

The Occupy movement’s Salt Lake City branch had posted on its website that it wanted to disrupt the ALEC convention.

The American Legislative Exchange Council works with state legislators and the private sector to advance free-market, limited-government principles. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy had representatives at the conference.

Jean Swindell, a spokeswoman for the Grand America Hotel, said by email that a fire alarm went off, but that it was unclear how it happened. She said there was no fire.

An email seeking comment sent to the “contact us” form on the Occupy Wall Street Salt Lake City organizers’ website was not returned.

In addition to protests outside the Grand America Hotel, the Occupy Wall Street Salt Lake City group also planned a “critical mass bike swarm” around the hotel as part of a “week long series of actions and activities to raise awareness about ALEC and to disrupt business as usual for the Elite members of ALEC.”

Ashdown said the protester who was ticketed for trespassing will have a court appearance.