Tell Austin City Council to Vote YES on the #FreedomCities Policy

Via Grassroots Leadership

There is a crisis in Austin: too many people of color are arrested and jailed in our community. It is sometimes hidden, other times it is in plain sight. And the problem isn’t just in Austin, but something people of color are fighting in cities around the country.

But Austin is our home and it is where we have the power to make the change we want to see. SIGN THE PETITION!
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Protests Disrupt Real Estate Conference over Private Prison Companies’ Attendance

Via Democracy Now!

H11 geo group core civic private prison protest

In New York City, an annual real estate conference faced protest Tuesday June 5th over the attendance of private prison companies. GEO Group and CoreCivic converted in 2013 to real estate investment trusts, or REITs, to avoid paying corporate taxes. The Republican tax plan also offers a 25 percent tax cut on investments in prisons. This is Daniel Carrillo with Enlace.

Daniel Carrillo: “There is a correlation between this lobby and the increase in arrests and criminalization and detention and incarceration. And we want to break that cycle.”

Meanwhile, also in New York City, a growing number of residents and community groups are calling on the city of New York to create its own public bank to divest from Wall Street banks that are financing fossil fuel extraction and private prison companies.

Progressive groups are launching a movement to create a public bank in New York City

Via MIC | A.P. Joyce

Progressive groups are launching a movement to create a public bank in New York City

New York City — Could the city best known as the home of Wall Street divest from major corporate banks and start its own public bank? That’s the vision that a new network of activist groups hope see in the near future.

On Tuesday, a coalition of progressive organizations in New York City gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange to launch a new effort to get the city to divest from Wall Street banks and create a new public bank for the public good.

“It’s a really simple concept: New York City has billions of dollars of public money every year that flow through the city coffers, and that money by law has to be held at Wall Street banks,” Sarah Ludwig, founder and co-director of the New Economy Project, said. “And the Wall Street banks that are holding the public’s money are actively harming New Yorkers, harming New York communities, harming the planet, etc.”

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¿Dónde depositar el dinero de NYC? Crear un banco público gana apoyos

Via El Diario NYC | Ana B Nieto

¿Dónde depositar el dinero de NYC? Crear un banco público gana apoyos

La ciudad de Nueva York deposita miles de millones de dólares en la banca de Wall Street y “esos banqueros ganan millones con esos depósitos y las comisiones mientras dan pocos beneficios a la ciudad, sus pequeños negocios y residentes”, explicaba el martes Stephen Edel, de New York Working Families.

Su solución es que el dinero de todos se ponga a trabajar en las comunidades a través de un banco público que sea seguro, transparente, ahorre dinero a los contribuyentes y aumente los préstamos a pequeños negocios y desarrollo de vivienda asequible. Y es una opción a la que se sumaron una coalición de organizaciones de la ciudad como New Economy Project, New York Communities for Change y Picture de Homeless, entre otras.

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Workers and Immigrants Demand End to Prison Tax Breaks at Investor Conference #RevokeREIT

June 5, 2018 — Workers and allies from the Freedom Cities movement will be protesting on today at the annual REITWeek investor conference against the tax breaks and profits prison companies and lenders receive for criminalizing communities of color and immigrants. REITWeek will be attended by private prison companies CoreCivic and GEO Group, and sponsored by their major lenders JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. Today, these companies will also have to face protest by the Black and Brown communities they lobby to incarcerate, who are demanding that Congress revoke REIT for this parasitic industry. 

Where: New York Hilton Midtown (1335 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019)

When: Tuesday June 5th at 3pm

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Breaking: Activists Calling for the Abolition of ICE Blocking Seattle Streets outside of Homeland Security Building

Lock Down Action Draws Attention to Seattle’s Deportation Epicenter as part of

National “Chinga La Migra” [Abolish ICE] tour

What: “Chinga La Migra” (Abolish ICE) Lock Down Action on 2nd Avenue

When: HAPPENING NOW: Tuesday June 5th, 7:30 am onwards

Where: 1000 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, Local headquarters of ICE, CBP, and Immigration Court

Who: Members of Northwest Detention Center Resistance and Mijente locked down and rallying against ICE and in support of those facing deportation.

Seattle, WA – Early this morning, activists with Northwest Detention Center Resistance and Mijente locked down outside of 1000 2nd Avenue in downtown Seattle, Washington, calling attention to the building’s role as Washington State’s deportation epicenter. The building, owned by billionaire developer Martin Selig, houses regional offices for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and Office of Chief Counsel, regional offices for Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Justice-controlled Seattle Immigration Court. The lockdown is part of the launch of the “Chinga La Migra” organizing tour to tell the story of what the deportation crisis under President Trump looks like in real time, and amplify the efforts and stories of resistance.

Investigation: Corporations Are Profiting From Immigrant Detainees’ Labor. Some Say It’s Slavery.

Via In These Times |

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP VOWED IN MARCH, “My administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government, whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem.”

Trump is using this specter of human trafficking to justify beefed-up border walls and a vicious crackdown on immigrants. Experts say his cure has nothing to do with the disease.

“It’s a fantasy, what the president is promising,” says Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor at George Mason University who studies trafficking in Mexico and Central America. “People will still come, escaping poverty and violence. Trafficking happens when they are forced to work along the route—drug smuggling, sex work. By increasing border enforcement, you’re just making the journey more expensive and longer, and making people more vulnerable to traffickers.”

But some people caught in this sweep say that the federal crackdown itself subjects them to another, pernicious form of trafficking. They say the corporations that operate immigrant detention facilities illegally force detainees to work. There’s reason to believe thousands of the roughly 35,000 people in immigrant detention are currently being coerced into labor.

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