Sunflower Community Action Joins Organizations and Occupy Movements Nationwide in
Calling for Divestment from Wells Fargo.
Wichita, KS, 10/26/2011: Sunflower Community Action (SCA) brings the national movement against Wells Fargo to Wichita this Saturday October, 29th. SCA will educate the public on the connections between the new wave of anti-immigrant laws, the private prisons that lobby for them, and the bank that provided the investments to make it all possible; Wells Fargo. SCA is calling on Wichita to join people across the country in divesting from, and refusing to do business with, Wells Fargo. There will also be a call to action to join SCA and Occupy Wichita in a zombie invasion of Wells Fargo Advisors on Halloween evening.
Immigrants for Sale
“You just sell it like you were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers”
–Thomas Beasley, Founder of CCA, Corrections Corporation of America.
Although the number of crimes committed in the US has dropped every year for nearly 2 decades, the number of detentions has greatly increased, creating huge profits for stockholders of prison companies at the taxpayer’s expense. Private prisons receive an average of $122 dollars daily per person in detention; the average daily number of people in detention is 30,000, costing tax payers $3.7 million every day. The most recent growth in detentions has been a result of the new wave of anti immigrant legislation
As private companies, these prisons must remain profitable and therefore must remain occupied. Corrections Corporation of America is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a rightwing think tank that pairs lawmakers with corporations. ALEC partnered with KS Sec. of State Kris Kobach to draft Arizona’s SB1070. ALEC’s member lawmakers, including KS legislators, then campaigned state-by-state across the nation to enact copycat bills, such as Kansas’ HB2372, Georgia’s HB87, and Alabama’s controversial HB56. The passage of these anti-immigrant laws, and the increased profits generated by new detention contracts were welcomed by Corrections Corporation of America and its shareholders, including Wells Fargo.
“ Our growth is dependent upon our ability to get new contracts…The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts…For instance, any changes with respect to drugs or ‘illegal’ immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted and sentenced, thereby reducing the demand for our correctional facilities to house them”
– Corrections Corporation of America Annual Report
Wells Fargo Cashes in on Prison Profits
According to the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission statistics, Wells Fargo has over 4 million shares in Geo Group and 50 thousand shares in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Their combined prison holdings are valued upwards of $120 million. CCA owns or manages 46 % of the private prison space in the US. Geo owns or manages 34 % of the private prison space in the US.
The number of private prisons has skyrocketed largely because hedge funds, pension investors, and mega banks, such as Wells Fargo, have financed the expansion of private prison companies and have enabled them to lobby federal and state governments to arrest and detain non-criminals, immigrants in particular. In fact, the Podesta Group, one of Washington’s most powerful lobby firms, is employed by both Geo and Wells Fargo. While the private prison industry is dependent on the investments contributed by Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo is not dependent on these investments. The return on these investments are just a drop in the bucket when compared to the earnings generated by other Wells Fargo investments.
Popular Education Assembly
Saturday Oct. 29th 2011 from 2pm – 3pm
Horace Mann Elementary (1243 N. Market, Wichita)
Press Contact: Louis Goseland, Cell 316.204.4315
THAT IS WHY WE AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER AMERICANS ARE CALLING FOR A NATIONWIDE
DIVESTMENT FROM WELLS FARGO UNTIL WELLS FARGO DIVESTS FROM PRIVATE PRISONS.
Below are links to coverage of the nationwide Wells Fargo Divestment campaign.
Oct 12th: Occupy San Francisco Action: http://vimeo.com/30458163
Oct 15th: Minnesota Action: http://tinyurl.com/67nppru
Oct 25th: Denver Action: http://tinyurl.com/6hf5r36