UPDATE: Those locked down have unlocked after G4S cut their own fences to get deportation buses past the blockade. Imagine that – border profiteers cutting down fences!
This morning, local activists are using direct action to shut down the transportation headquarters of G4S in Tucson, Arizona. Responding to Occupy Portland’s call to shut down the corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, this action is being taken to halt the profit-driven operations of ALEC member G4S. This massive company operates the buses used to transport those being deported or moved between immigration detention facilities, and contributes to untold strife and devastation for those criminalized by U.S. Immigration policy.
“The second largest multinational corporation after WalMart, G4S, a worldwide private security services provider, profits through the militarization of infrastructure along the U.S. Mexico border, aiding U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the human rights crisis perpetuated through the daily seizure, detention and criminalization of undocumented people. G4S profits additionally from the private management of prisons, into which thousands of people are streamlined daily by the U.S. prison-industrial complex and its corporate, governmental and military investors,” explained Ben Lorber, a supporter of the action.
Ben Lorber further stated, “Well beyond our borders, G4S bolsters and profits from state-based terror worldwide. In occupied Palestine, to cite one of many examples, the company provides private security technology and personnel for Israeli prisons, where the systematic torture of Palestinian prisoners is regularly documented by human rights organizations, and for West Bank settlements, deemed illegal and in violation of international human rights law by the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice.”
Jonah Clarke, one of the participants in today’s actions said:
“Today’s shutdown of G4S bus operations is part of a nation-wide day of action to shut down the corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization in which corporations who stand to profit from criminalization and militarization, such as G4S, work directly with politicians to craft model legislation that puts profit over people, and bolsters the military- and prison-industrial complex while human beings are trampled underfoot. Across the country, in all our struggles, ALEC’s influence is present and representative of a failed system in which power and greed are dominant over everything else.
This day is part of a longer struggle against ALEC and against the white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy and the colonial state of which they are only a part. We use direct action to confront these oppressive structures and take back the power to shape our world.”
In addition to this autonomous action, a rally in response to the Shut Down the Corporations call is scheduled for 4PM today at the Joel D. Valdez library in downtown Tucson.
For video from this morning’s ongoing action, see http://www.youtube.com/user/shutdownalec.
More information on the national day of action available at shutdownthecorporations.org.