No music for ICE

Celebrities boycott Amazon’s ties with immigration customs

Denaya Lewis, Opinion Writer

“Amazon, how long will you have blood on your hands? Cut ties with ICE!” hundreds of protestors shouted outside the annual Amazon web services summit on Thursday. Warehouse workers, Tech companies, immigrants, and musicians have been speaking up against Amazons new contract with ICE. 

Amazon provides ICE with DHS databases that allow the department and its agencies to track and apprehend immigrants. It is also in talks to expand a partnership to host new DHS biometric databases that store more extensive data, including eye color, tattoos and other identifiers. 

This means that ICE has access to information otherwise classified. This software is meant to target and racially profile immigrants of Latin descent specifically.  

This is not the firsttime companies have held contracts with government agencies. In June, hundreds of Wayfair employees went on strike after it was revealed that the company was funding the cage tents at the border. In 2018, Salesforce Workers walked off the job to force the company to cut ties with US immigration customs. 

We as customers of these companies have to take a stand. If we do not speak out, we are complacent with what ICE is doing. Me personally, I don’t think anybody belongs in a cage, or deserves to get ripped away from their family. 

Taking a stand is as simple as not using these services. Companies like these make billions of dollars just off being easily accessible. Anything you can buy on Amazon you can buy locally. Your local bookstore doesn’t sell information to government agencies. Neither does your local tech store. 

Celebrities such as Ted Leo, Deerhoof, Damon & Naomi, Zola Jesus, Downtown Boys and Sheer Mag have already taken their music off Amazon. In a ‘No music for ICE’ letter celebrities pledged to cut ties with the company if they refused to quit business with ICE. “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,” it reads.  

This is an example of how people with platforms should use them. Amazon is like a superhighway for artificial intelligence. They provide a cloud space to companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Expedia. But the average consumer doesn’t know that when watching a movie, streaming music or buying a plane ticket. 

This problem is a lot bigger than just Amazon. These monopolies have the power to do whatever they want because they have immense resources and power. Amazon brings in over 600 million dollars annually, just in north America.  

  These companies need to know that consumers won’t stand for this. Standing up to Amazon is standing up to ICE and the government, using your first amendment rights.