In an open letter titled “No Music for ICE,” published this week by nonprofit advocacy group Fight for the Future, more than 800 artists went after the company for its ties to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“It has recently come to light that Amazon Web Services, an Amazon subsidiary with known ties to ICE and law enforcement, is hosting a festival marketed as an experience ‘where music, technology and art converge,'” the letter said. “We the undersigned artists are outraged that Amazon continues to provide the technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses.”
The artists said in the letter they wouldn’t participate in “Amazon-sponsored events, or engage in exclusive partnerships with Amazon in the future” unless the company makes a series of changes.
The movement wants Amazon to terminate existing ICE contracts and end projects that may encourage racial profiling, specifically Amazon’s facial recognition project..
“We will not allow Amazon to exploit our creativity to promote its brand while it enables attacks on immigrants, communities of color, workers and local economies,” the letter said. “We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us.”
Amazon has come under fire in the past for its ties to ICE.
Earlier this year, Amazon employees called on the tech giant to end its work with Palantir, a data company that contracts with ICE. The employees at the time called for the company to come out against the immigration raids and warned the company should do better. There have also been protests in the past demanding Amazon cut all ties to ICE.
Hundreds of musicians have pledged not to work with Amazon going forward, accusing the tech giant of providing the “technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses” and calling on the company to cut its ties with the immigration agency. In an open letter titled “No Music for ICE,” published this ...