May 12, 2011: Protests Launch National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign
What: Community and labor groups take to the streets to demand that Wells Fargo divest its holdings in the GEO Group, a private prison company that runs immigrant detention centers and the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp for the U.S. government.
Where: Wells Fargo Towers 333 S Grand Ave, LA
When: Thursday May12th from 4pm- 6pm [News Conference at 5pm]
Community and labor groups are taking to the streets on Thursday, May 12 in five major cities to protest the private prison industry’s business model of pushing for harsher immigrant incarceration policies. Such policies drive up prison populations and put added strains on state and federal budgets.
Detentions of immigrants are set to cost taxpayers over $10 billion a year while profiting Manhattan-based hedge fund managers and other finance industry magnates like Wells Fargo who have significant investments in the private prison industry.
The private prison industry, in league with its major investors, is working to increase the criminalization of our communities and thus overpopulation in our prisons, through lobbying efforts that increase penalties and incarcerations by the federal government and by states such as Arizona and Georgia, which recently passed legislation that accelerates the detention of immigrants.
“Now they’re conspiring to get states to put more people in jail for longer periods of time, costing tax-payers millions for no justifiable reason at the cost of the credibility of our justice system. We can’t let this happen,” said Peter Cervantes-Gautschi of Enlace, an alliance of low-wage labor groups in the U.S. and Mexico.
This group, in partnership with community groups and unions across the US, is calling on all public and private institutions to divest their holdings in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, America’s largest private prison corporations who a combined $3 billion.
The major investors in the private prison industry include Pershing Square Capital Management, Wellington Management Company, Wells Fargo Bank, General Electric and others. The protests coincide with the annual shareholders meeting of CCA in Nashville, TN where one of the protest will be taking place that day
Wells Fargo’s prison stock is valued at $88 million.