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.

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Why are for-profit US prisons subjecting detainees to forced labor?

Via The Guardian | Azadeh Shahshahani

‘How convenient and profitable for wealthy private prisons to exploit detained immigrant labor rather than hire regularly waged employees.’
 ‘How convenient and profitable for wealthy private prisons to exploit detained immigrant labor rather than hire regularly waged employees.’ Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/LA Times via Getty Images

In 2017, officials at the Stewart immigration detention center in Georgia placed Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh, in solitary confinement for encouraging fellow workers to stop working.

Ahmed, who was paid 50 cents per hour to work within the facility, was upset because his $20 paycheck was delayed. His punishment was solitary confinement for 10 days, where he was subject to deplorable conditions – a cell with no access to other workers, only an hour of out of cell time per day and showers only three times per week. Detailing the impact that severe isolation has had on his mental health, Ahmed said: “I think the segregation will kill me.”

Stewart is operated by the largest prison corporation in the US, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), under a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice). The corporation’s net income last year was $178m.

Freedom Cities Called for Divestment from Profit, Investment in People on May Day 2018

A multi-racial, multi-sector coalition united across the coasts on May Day 2018 representing the power of Freedom Cities. Over forty organizations marched under the Freedom Cities banner in New York City, while in Oakland, the Ella Baker center turned in full force at a rally hosted by Oakland Sin Fronteras.

Sam Johnson of Million Hoodies stands in the center of Garibaldi Plaza in Washington Square Park, opening the space for dozens of powerful speakers from worker centers, racial justice organizations, and immigrant rights groups to take the stage.

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Princeton Private Prison Divest responds to committee recommendation against prison divestment

Via The Daily Princetonian | Ivy Truong

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The Resources Committee of the University recommended against prison divestment in a report released on Friday, April 20. The report emphasized that more research on mass incarceration has to be done at the University in light of the “complexity of the issue.”

According to the report, Students for Prison Education and Reform initially raised the issue of potential University divestment from private prisons. Then, in fall 2016, a student coalition — Princeton Private Prison Divest — first brought their concerns to the committee and presented a proposal to divest from private prisons.

SPEAR and PPPD have repeatedly called for the University to divest from private prisons, submitting a petition to the University Board of Trustees in June 2017 with over 3,000 signatures. Earlier last year, PPPD held a walkout and rally during a Council of the Princeton University Community meeting.

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Victory! Los Angeles will not renew commercial banking contract with Wells Fargo

Divest LA activists at Los Angeles City Hall.

The Los Angeles City Office of Finance has confirmed that the city will not renew their commercial banking contract with Wells Fargo Bank. The bank did not submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) banking contract after Los Angeles City Council’s unanimous vote on December 13, 2017, to enforce a minimum Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating of “Satisfactory” for banks bidding on the City’s contracts. Wells Fargo has a substandard federal CRA rating of “Needs to Improve,” and therefore unable to participate in the city’s bidding process.

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Cities complicit with Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Policy. Advocates demand Prison Divestment. #FreedomCities

Report reveals Wall Street’s scale of involvement in private prison and detention industry, highlights costs to Black, Brown and immigrant communities

New York, NY — A new report shows the vital role that three major Wall Street corporations, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and BlackRock, play in maintaining and expanding the lucrative private prison and immigrant detention industry – and how they’re poised to make millions from the further criminalization of communities of color and the expansion of detention under Trump.

The report, by the Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, Enlace International, and the Strong Economy for All Coalition, reveals the extent to which Wall Street’s biggest lenders are propping up the private prison and immigrant detention industry – already a $5 billion enterprise.

“Our cities can take powerful steps to oppose incarceration by divesting from these banks and reinvesting in our community. That is the first step towards building the Freedom Cities that our communities need to thrive and be safe,” said Amanda Aguilar-Shank, Deputy Director of Enlace International.

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Activists Demand SF Divest from fossil fuels & prisons, and create a people’s bank

Via Inside Sources | Erin Mundahl

Environmentalists Keeping Up the Divestment Fight with San Francisco Rally, As Policy Remains A Distant Goal

Over the course of the past few years, divestment has become a key talking point for environmentalists looking to stop fossil fuel production. Thus far, even after several symbolic votes, divestment has remained largely talk. On Wednesday, protesters in San Francisco rallied in front of a downtown Bank of America before marching to City Hall in a call for the city to pull its money from the bank to create a “people’s bank.”

At the rally, which was timed to coincide with a shareholders meeting, dozens of protesters served Bank of America with an “eviction notice.”

Violations listed on the sign included “engagement in socially and environmentally destructive practices,” predatory lending, and funding fossil fuels, gun manufacturers, and the construction of prisons.

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Wells Fargo fines take backseat to guns, pipelines, prisons at shareholder meeting

Via Des Moines Register | Donnelle Eller

Wells Fargo shareholders and executives clashed Tuesday in Des Moines over the bank’s reaction to a series of scandals that have rocked the financial giant and drawn the rebuke of customers, investors and regulators.

“Rebuilding trust is our top priority,” CEO Tim Sloan told investors in a ballroom at the downtown Des Moines Marriott.

But shareholders took the CEO and other top executives to task during a lengthy question-and-answer session, calling for the company to rectify its misdeeds and urging leaders to reach deep when making reforms following revelations of systemic customer fraud and abuse.

Wells Fargo customers “have lost their homes. They have lost their businesses, and in no small measure, their dignity, all because our company failed them,” said Nora Nash, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and part of a Wells Fargo stakeholder advisory board.

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