A group of more than 500 musicians and bands is threatening to boycott Amazon unless the online retailer cuts business ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In a letter published online Thursday, the musicians demanded that Amazon sever its contracts with ICE, or they will refuse to participate in the upcoming Intersect Music Festival, which is scheduled to take place Dec. 6 to 7 in Las Vegas and is being presented by Amazon Web Services.
Their protest is being organized by the left-wing, anti-Trump Fight For the Future, which bills itself as a digital rights advocacy group.
Nearly 500 artists have now taken the @NoMusicForICE pledge to boycott Amazon events and partnerships until they cancel their contracts with ICE and stop selling dangerous surveillance software to governments #NoMusicForICE https://t.co/4EZCfUMnt9
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) October 24, 2019
“We the undersigned artists are outraged that Amazon continues to provide the technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses,” said the letter, which was titled “No Music for ICE! Open letter from musicians to Amazon.”
The artists said they are pledging to not participate in Amazon-sponsored events, or engage in exclusive partnerships with Amazon in the future, until Amazon publicly commits to terminating existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies like ICE that “commit human rights abuses.”
Their demands to Amazon include the cessation of Cloud services and other digital tools to private sector groups such as Palantir Technologies that “power the U.S. government’s deportation machine.”
Palantir, co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, is a data analytics firm that has provided services to the federal government’s counterterrorism efforts as well as ICE.
The musicians are also demanding that the company halts all projects “that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon’s facial recognition product.”
Fight For the Future launched a new Twitter account, @NoMusicForICE, which is encouraging more musicians to “stand in solidarity against ICE and tech companies like Amazon that power it.”
The music community will not be complicit! We invite musicians to stand in solidarity against ICE and tech companies like Amazon that power it. Take the pledge at https://t.co/f8n9gmVehu#NoMusicForICE #NoTechForIce pic.twitter.com/Hzt3J93eOB
— No Music For ICE (@NoMusicForICE) October 24, 2019
Earlier this year, a group of current and former Whole Foods employees demanded that parent company Amazon cut ties with ICE and Palantir.
The upscale grocery chain workers called on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to “cease all business with Palantir and any other company involved in the continued oppression of marginalized groups.”