Protesters target Amazon for selling technology to ICE

DCNFNeetu Chandak, DCNF

An activist group will protest Amazon in New York City Tuesday, urging the company to stop selling technology to Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).

Cosecha, a group that fights for “permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States,” is organizing the protest at its Amazon Books store to “demand Amazon stop selling their technology to firms that work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and stop helping ICE put children in cages and deport families,” according to a Monday advisory.

The action follows after Amazon employees wrote an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos demanding to cut ties with Palantir, a software company that sells facial recognition technology to ICE, various government officials, and police departments. Amazon employees found out about the ties through a May 22 ACLU report that condemned Amazon’s actions.

The facial recognition technology has the ability to detect “all faces in group photos, crowded events, and public places such as airports,” at a time when Americans are joining public protests at unprecedented levels,” according to the ACLU report.

“In the current political climate, we need to stop supercharged surveillance before it is used to track protesters, target immigrants and spy on entire neighborhoods,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director for the ACLU of California, said in a statement to TheDCNF in May.

The protest at Amazon is part of a series of demonstrations led by Cosecha that targets organizations and public officials who work with ICE, according to the press release. The protests are in response to President Donald Trump’s now rescinded policy of detaining illegal immigrants and their children.

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