Tell Wells Fargo: Dump the Prison Stock Invest In Humanity
Join Occupy Rochester, Occupy Wall Street Bus Tour, & the Band of Rebels
Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012, 12:00 pm
Wells Fargo – 1200 Pittsford Victor Rd.
Need a Ride? Carpool leaves Washington Square Park at 11:45am
The protest will feature activists exposing the private prison industry, survivors of the prison system sharing their testimonials, & our vision for prioritizing education not incarceration, housing people in homes not prisons, and creating jobs not jails. Another world is possible. Click here for facebook event
Criminalization and imprisonment are big business. Our government pays for-profit prison companies an average of $122 per day, per person in prison. The two largest private prison companies—Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group—lobby for laws that criminalize communities of color, with the perverse incentive of increasing the prison population to increase profit. In 2010, they received over $3 billion in revenue. In solidarity with the National Prison Divestment Campaign we are confronting the sinister and violent system that makes billions from locking our loved ones behind bars.
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with over 2.3 million men and women behind bars and over 7 million in prison, or on probation or parole. Today, there are more African Americans under correctional control than there were enslaved in 1850. The war on drugs swept millions of poor people, overwhelmingly poor people of color, into prisons for nonviolent drug offenses—the same crimes that occur with equal frequency in middle-class white neighborhoods and on college campuses, but go largely ignored. Being in the country without status is a civil, not a criminal, offense. Yet, anti-immigrant laws have led to the incarceration of over 1 million immigrants in for-profit detention centers over the past 3 years. A FOIA request revealed that on any given day there are 32,300 immigrants in detention, 40% of those are not convicted of a crime, nor awaiting a criminal trial. The immigration-deportation-complex, like the prison-industrial-complex is tearing our families apart and destroying our communities while corporations turn a profit.
As the prison industry grows exponentially, so has prison slave labor. Today, there are close to 1 million inmates working full-time in prisons in the U.S. some for as little as 23 cents an hour. The NY State Dept of Corrections takes sick pride in opening a call center in a NY state prison that pays inmates 43 cents an hour “saving” taxpayers $3.5 million annually.
Wells Fargo, recipient of $43 billion in taxpayer-funded bailouts, has a track record of pushing forward fraudulent foreclosures and acting as a key funder to the prison industry. Wells Fargo is a major investor in GEO Group and sponsors politicians and lobbyists who champion policies to imprison more immigrants in GEO-run detention centers. Wells Fargo made contributions to Georgia’s HB87 (Arizona Copycat Law) sponsor Senator Bill Hamrick and several politicians in State House and State Senate who voted in favor of HB87.
Mass incarceration makes us less safe as funds for social services, education, housing, jobs, and healthcare are cut while failed criminal justice policies bankrupt our state and federal budgets. We believe corporations that make billions of dollars by locking human beings in cages are morally bankrupt. We demand that Wells Fargo, General Electric, Bank of America and other investors dump their private prison stock. We demand that our government stop contracting with private prison companies, stop building prisons, and end prison slave labor.