Campaign Updates

ENLACE-POSTER_outline_campaign11x85The Prison Divestment Campaign began in 2011 from the need to launch a comprehensive strategy to decriminalize immigrants and people of color, end detention, end mass incarceration, and demilitarize the border. It was not only Politicians that we needed to target, but also the For-Profit Prison Industry and Wall Street who were the other powerful force behind mass incarceration, the police state, immigrant detention, and deportation. The Campaign has since become a national movement bringing together Black, Brown, and LGBTQ communities to end mass incarceration and immigration enforcement. The movement is working to divest from criminalization and incarceration, and demand reparations and reinvestment in our communities!

Enlace builds alliances among organizations working on immigrant rights, criminal justice, another social justice groups to end mass incarceration and achieve legalization for all immigrants. For additional information visit Enlace’s webpage

Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, Deportations & Detention

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The Prison Divestment Movement is part of a larger movement called #FreedomCities that is redefining what Safety and Freedom mean for our communities.

Prison Inc.: Immigration busts a boon for America’s biggest private lockup

Via CBS News | By Aimee Picchi

When it comes to companies that are set to profit from President Donald Trump’s policies, here’s a clear winner: private prison operator CoreCivic (CXW).

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company has experienced almost a complete turnabout since Mr. Trump emerged victorious in the November election. Before voters cast their ballots, CoreCivic was having a rough year. Its stock had plunged by almost 50 percent from January 1, 2016 through Election Day. In August, the Justice Department said it would stop using private prisons, representing a hit to CoreCivic’s operations.

Yet just a few months later, CoreCivic’s fortunes have reversed, thanks largely to the election of President Trump and his directives to crack down on illegal immigrants. Since Mr. Trump’s victory, its shares have more than doubled, far outpacing the 9 percent gain in the S&P 500. Analysts now expect the company to have a strong 2017, with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Tobey Sommer describing it among one of his best investment picks for the year.

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Yale Panel recounts anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s

 On Thursday night, about 80 students convened in Linsly-Chittenden Hall to listen to four Yale alumni speak about their involvement with the anti-apartheid movement on campus in the 1980s.

The panel featured Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93, Matthew Countryman ’85, John Ritter ’88 and Elizabeth Juliver ’89, all of whom took part in the anti-apartheid protests that rocked Yale beginning in 1985. The panelists discussed the historical context of the protests, the positive parts of divestment as a tactic and the negotiations with the Yale Corporation. The panel was organized by Yale Students for Prison Divestment and Fossil Free Yale and the discussion was moderated by Travis Deshong ’19, a member of the YSPD and a staff reporter for the Yale Daily News Magazine.

“We convene here today … to discern how history, particularly history of student activism might be instructive for addressing the challenges that we face today as a university community … that is [involved] in a transnational prison industrial complex and a plot to destroy our world — quite literally — through its investments in fossil fuels and for-profit prisons,” said Amanda Joyce Hall GRD ’21, who opened the panel with a speech about the movement’s history.

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Princeton’s ugly history lives on in its investments

Via the Daily Princetonian | By Max Grear

“Divestment from for-profit prison companies will help to repair historical entanglements from the slave economy, with which [Princeton] is deeply and directly implicated.”

In a panel last week organized by Students for Education and Reform and Princeton Private Prison Divest on the privatization of prisons and immigration detention centers, Christopher Petrella offered the argument above as a reminder of the University’s historical legacy and consequent contemporary responsibility. Petrella, a lecturer at Bates College who focuses on race and criminalization, compellingly linked past iterations of institutionalized white supremacy to the modern-day private prison industry. A clear line emerged between the slave holdings of the first eight University presidents and the institution’s current investments in private prison and detention centers.

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Expert panel argues Princeton should Divest from Private Prisons

Via The Daily Princetonian | By Audrey Spensley

The University should divest from private prisons, argued three speakers at a Feb. 6 panel hosted by Students for Prison Education and Reform and Princeton Private Prison Divest. The panelists discussed the history of prison privatization, the results of privatization in terms of efficiency and human rights, and the ethical implications of incentivizing incarceration.

“There are two stories we tell ourselves when we talk about privatization,” said Christopher Petrella, a lecturer and writing specialist at Bates College, who began the discussion. “There’s the brief technocratic history, that for-profit prison companies were minted in the early eighties. Then there’s another story.”

He went on to argue that incentives for incarceration have existed for far longer than the past four decades and are intertwined with racial discrimination.

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University of California Next In Line To Dump Wells Fargo Contracts

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The divest movement urging people to take their money out of banks that behave unethically has consistently been gaining traction, and no bank is getting more pressure these days than Wells Fargo. In the latest hit, it is set to lose $475 million in contracts with the University of California.

This victory has been a long time coming.

After a nearly two-year campaign pushing the UC system to cut its ties to private prison corporations, the Afrikan Black Coalition—an alliance of the black student unions across 15 University of California campuses—says it convinced UC to terminate a number of contracts with Wells Fargo.

The group accused the San Francisco bank of “amoral practices,” such as financing the for-profit prison operators CoreCivic and GEO Group. The Afrikan Black Coalition also complained about Wells Fargo’s alleged predatory lending practices that unfairly targeted communities of color and contributed to the foreclosure crisis. The university announced its decision to the student coalition in a meeting on January 17.

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Princeton Group Seeks Private-Jail Divestment

Via Princeton Alumni Weekly | By Allie Wenner

Graduate students are scheduled to vote later this month on whether to call on the University to divest from private prisons and detention corporations as part of a campaign by Princeton Private Prison Divest, a student group.

In December, the group distributed to the faculty a petition in support of divestment from corporations that profit from incarceration, drug control, and immigrant- deportation policies; it had more than 150 signatures by mid-January.

In an Undergraduate Student Government referendum last spring, 89 percent of the 1,639 undergraduates who participated voted in favor of divestment. The referendum ultimately failed because undergraduate voter turnout fell short of the 30 percent required.

Princeton Private Prison Divest said in a statement that investment in private prisons conflicts with the University’s core values. “Private prisons perpetuate a national civil-rights crisis, one that falls disproportionately upon the most vulnerable people in our society,” the group said. “Supporting the private carceral industry does not support the well-being of our nation or of humanity.”

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Afrikan Black Coalition Pushes University of California to Terminate $475 Million Worth of Contracts From Wells Fargo

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Contact: abc.politburo@gmail.com

“If you dare to struggle, you dare to win. If you dare not struggle, then damn it, you don’t deserve to win.” — Fred Hampton, Slain Black Panther Party Chairman, Illinois Chapter

Back in December 2015, the Afrikan Black Coalition unanimously demanded for the University of California (UC) to divest from private prisons. Shortly after the demand, the University of California divested nearly $30 million from private prisons. While this was a momentous and historic win, we knew our battle was not over as the UC still maintained several relationships with Wells Fargo – who provide a $900 million dollar credit line to Core Civic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America) and are also part of the Million Shares Club.  Following continued advocacy from the Afrikan Black Coalition, the University of California has finally decided to discontinue several ($475 million worth) of its existing contracts with Wells Fargo. More specifically, the University of California has agreed to three key points:

  1. Terminated the $25 million commercial paper contract with Wells Fargo on November 2016.
  2. Terminate the $150 million interest reset contract with Wells Fargo by April 1st, 2017.
  3. Terminate  $200 million out of the $300 million line of credit with Wells Fargo by next month and the remaining $100 million as soon as a replacement bank is found, which is actively being sought for.

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