July 8th-12th Week of Action: Shut Down I.C.E. Profiteers!

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Inspired by recent #BlockTheWall actions, people are calling for a week of action against the largest financial backers of migrant detention and deportation.

July 8th-12th take collective and direct action to protest or shut down branch locations of PNC Bank.

NOTE: Bank of America and SunTrust were originally listed as a target in this call to action. On June 26th, Bank of America announced its intention to divest from private prisons, including corporations that operate migrant detention centers. Bank of America was the largest bank invested in these entities. Then, on July 8th, SunTrust announced it was divesting as well. Thus, the private prison divestment and Abolish ICE movements have secured an impressive victory. We hope this win furthers the momentum against SunTrust, PNC and other ICE profiteers.

We are all too aware of the cruelties of the American border regime: locking children in cages or ruining families by kidnapping and deporting parents. While this is a nightmare scenario for millions, it is big business for deportation and migrant-detention profiteers.

As throughout the Trump presidency, the far-Right has played a support role to the State, acting as an auxiliary force along the border in support of the border patrol.

Like other mechanisms of oppression, the border system utilizes infrastructures that can be disrupted.

Like other mechanisms of oppression, the border system utilizes infrastructures that can be disrupted. This infrastructure is composed of state agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). But it is also thoroughly integrated with the private sector. Contracts with construction, technology and security corporations are integral to the function of a militarized border. The majority of immigrant detainees are imprisoned in detention centers operated by private prison companies contracting with ICE. The largest of these are Geo Group and CoreCivic.

Children in detention facilities report rampant sexual abuse and harassment.

Geo Group & CoreCivic  are structured as Real Estate Investment Trusts, & are particularly vulnerable to credit loss. This has enabled recent campaigns to yield key victories.

Further, the private sector actors fundamental to ICE and CBP operations rely on debt-financing from large financial institutions. Geo Group and CoreCivic which are structured as Real Estate Investment Trusts, are particularly vulnerable to credit loss. This has enabled recent campaigns to yield key victories. In March 2019, JPMorgan Chase committed to halt further financing to the private prison industry following long-term organizing efforts. In the immediate aftermath, Geo Group and CoreCivic stocks plummeted and Geo Group warned its investors that mounting pressure “could have a material adverse effect on our business.” After Chase’s announcement Wells Fargo began partially divesting, while U.S. Bank reduced credit to an “immaterial amount.” PNC Bank continues to bankroll the migrant detention industry and are some of its largest funders. Divestment from these remaining large banks could jeopardize the economic viability of corporations like Geo Group or CoreCivic.

The Why’s and How’s of Bank Shutdowns and Protests

Concentrating protest on a narrow pool of targets permits a greater tangible effect on company bottomlines, illuminating the power of direct action. The JPMorgan Chase divestment campaign, in particular, utilized direct action.

Shutting down bank locations for a few hours or a day is usually quite easy. Bank locations are bound by stringent safety procedures. Thus, pickets outside of bank entrances or demonstrators entering banks, chanting, making noise and distributing leaflets to customers and workers is generally sufficient to a temporary bank branch closure. Often, bank shutdowns only comprise of a couple dozen participants, or less (though the more the merrier).

Bank shutdowns and protests can be planned in a public or private fashion. Public outreach via social media and mass fliering can guarantee heightened attendance, but can tip off bank branch management and police in advance. It is likely in this scenario that the bank branch will close its doors before the demonstration occurs. This can make for a less sexy action, but a closed bank is still a closed bank and this approach shouldn’t be written off. Alternatively, bank shutdowns can be organized more privately, through word-of-mouth, text chats and other platforms off of public social media. This method will permit a greater element of surprise, likely allowing participants to enter a bank lobby, temporarily shut down the location and potentially disperse before police arrive.

If mobilizing sufficient numbers for a shutdown or picket is difficult in your community, consider organizing a banner drop or a phone zap against a bank branch. Actions like these are less risky and resource-intensive and can complement actions in other communities.

Get to it and see you in the lobbies!

En espanol

Inspirado por las llamadas recientes de #BlockTheWall, estamos proponiendo una semana de acción contra los financieros de la detención de los inmigrantes y de las deportaciones. La semana 8-12 de Julio, tomen acciones directos y colectivos para interrumpir locales de Bank of America, SunTrust y PNC Bank.

Ya somos conscientes de las crueldades de La Sistema de La Migra de los Estados Unidos: poniendo niños en jaulas, destruyendo familias con secuestros de niños y deportaciones de padres. Esta es una pesadilla horrible para millones de gente, pero es mas lucrativo para los empresarios quien ganan de este sufrimiento.

Como otros sistemas de opresión, La Sistema de La Migra utiliza infraestructura que puede ser interrumpidos. La infraestructura es organizada por agencias del Estado como Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) y Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Pero todo el sistema esta muy integrado con el sector privado. Contratos con negocios de construcción, tecnología y de seguridad son integrales para la función de una frontera militarizada. La mayoría de los detenidos inmigrantes están encarcelados en centros de detención operados por compañías privadas contratados con ICE, las mas grandes siendo Geo Group y CoreCivic.

Además, estas compañías privadas son fundamentales para las operaciones de La Migra que requieren instituciones finánciales grandes para sacar préstamos y crédito. Geo Group y CoreCivic, las corporaciones de detención, están muy vulnerables a la perdida del crédito. Por esta razón, campañas de activistas han tenido éxito mucha últimamente. En Marzo de 2019, JP Morgan Chase anunciaron que ya no iban a financiar la industria de detención privado. Eso fue después de una campaña organizado sobre este tema. Inmediatamente después las ganancias de Geo Group y CoreCivic se bajaron. Geo Group les mandaron un anuncio a sus inversores diciendo que el crecimiento de la presión activista “podría tener un efecto adverso material en nuestro negocio.” Después del anuncio de Chase Bank, Wells Fargo bajo sus inversiones poco a poco. U.S. Bank bajaron su total de crédito a una “cantidad inmaterial.” Pero Bank of America, SunTrust y PNC Bank siguen financiando la detención privado de los inmigrantes.

¿Porqué y Cómo?

Enfocando nuestras acciones disruptivas contra elementos específicos de la oposición nos permitan medir el impacto contra las ganancias de la corporación. Con éxito, se puede iluminar que puede pasar con la acción directa. La campaña especifica contra JP Morgan Chase utilizó la acción directa.

Forzando los bancos a cerrar sus locaciones, aunque nada mas por unas horas o un día es más fácil que uno le pensaría. Las localizaciones de los bancos tienen procedimientos y reglas bien estrictos de la seguridad. Por esta razón, protestas afuera de las puertas o participantes entrando los bancos, explicando por que estamos, haciendo ruido y distribuyendo propaganda a los clientes y los trabajadores es normalmente suficiente para cerrar un banco temporalmente. Muchas veces, cerrando localizaciones de los bancos ni requiere una gran cantidad de gente (pero mas personas mejor).

Interrumpiendo y cerrando los bancos temporalmente pueden ser planeado en una manera pública o mas privada. Haciéndola en público utilizando las redes sociales y con propaganda puede atraer mas gente a participar en la causa, pero se puede llamar a la atención de los gerentes del banco y de la policía. Si eso pasa, es probable que el banco cerraría antes de la acción. Esta situación todavía significaría una victoria porque un banco cerrado es un banco cerrado. También se puede organizar estas acciones en privado, entre compañerxs hablando en persona o texteando, no usando las redes sociales. Esta forma de organizar normalmente garantiza el elemento de sorpresa, dejando los manifestantes libres a entrar el banco, forzándolo a cerrar y escaparse antes de la llegada de la policía.

¡Hágamozlo y nos vemos en los bancos!

Fliers and Leaflets:

If a public action is planned in your community, edit this PDF flier to include action details, Spanish version here. Distribute these informational leaflets in ENGLISH and in SPANISH or create your own for actions.

Actions:

Email info [at]  itsgoingdown [dot] org to have your event listed.

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  • Olympia Assembly
  • Block the Wall Network
  • ItsGoingDown.Org
  • NorCal Resist
  • Olympia Solidarity Network

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