Some 475 musicians — so far — have signed a pledge to avoid working with Amazon until it distances itself from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Rolling Stone reported Thursday.
What are the details?
Activist organization Fight for the Future drafted the letter and released it Wednesday.
The letter serves as a notice to Amazon to sever ties with ICE or suffer the wrath of musicians pledging to quit working with the company, to include the Amazon Web Services-hosted music festival coming up in December.
Amazon provides necessary networking and telecommunications services to the federal agency through software and cloud-based services.
The letter — titled, "No Music for ICE!" — demands that Amazon "[t]erminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses," "[s]top providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government's deportation machine," "end projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon's facial recognition product," and "[r]eject future engagements w/aforementioned bad actors."
The letter adds, "We will not allow Amazon to exploit our creativity to promote its brand while it enables attacks on immigrants, communities of color, workers and local economies. We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us."
Some of the more prominent musicians and groups set to perform at the festival include the Foo Fighters, Beck, and Kacey Musgraves — none of which have signed the letter at the time of this writing.
In a statement, Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said that tech companies need to be held "accountable" for daring to provide services to the U.S. government.
"Amazon's surveillance based business model is fundamentally at odds with basic human rights," Greer said. "Artists have tremendous power when we organize. We're inspired by the powerful work that organizations like Mijente and RAICES have done to hold big tech companies like Amazon accountable for their role providing an operational backbone for the US government's oppressive and violent attacks on immigrant communities."
Greer's statement also points out that even Amazon's own employees are reportedly dissatisfied with the fact that their company works with ICE.
"Amazon employees have organized demanding that they cancel their contracts with ICE," Greer added. "Now musicians are joining the fight — if enough of us join the boycott, we can raise the social cost and isolate Big Tech companies who want to profit from human suffering."