Over 200 musicians signed an open letter promising not to participate in Amazon-sponsored events until the company sever ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The letter was published Wednesday by nonprofit Fight for the Future. Those who signed promised not to be part of the festival Amazon Web Services is hosting in Las Vegas in early December.
The letter makes four demands of Amazon:
- Terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses
- Stop providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government's deportation machine
- End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon's facial recognition product
- Reject future engagements w/ aforementioned bad actors.
The letter calls on other musicians to join in protesting Amazon, and organizers have gathered on Twitter under the hashtag #NoMusicForIce.
—No Music For ICE (@NoMusicForICE) October 24, 2019
Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, told Business Insider in an email:
"Amazon's surveillance based business model is fundamentally at odds with basic human rights. Artists have tremendous power when we organize. We're inspired by the powerful work that organizations like Mijente and RAICES have done to hold big tech companies like Amazon accountable for their role providing an operational backbone for the US government's oppressive and violent attacks on immigrant communities. Amazon employees have organized demanding that they cancel their contracts with ICE. Now musicians are joining the fight — if enough of us join the boycott, we can raise the social cost and isolate Big Tech companies who want to profit from human suffering."
Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
This isn't the first time Amazon has been publicly called out for its connections to ICE. In July, Amazon employees sent an internal letter telling the company to cut ties to ICE, and protesters blocked traffic in New York City because of an AWS conference. In August, some employees of Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, demanded that the company cut ties with Palantir, a tech company that reportedly provides software used to gather data about undocumented immigrants.