Texans United For Families (TUFF), a local human rights group working to end immigrant detention and deportation, protested at the Austin Wells Fargo headquarters on Friday, July 1st as part of the National Private Prison Divestment Day. TUFF held the protest to call on Wells Fargo to cease all investments into the private prison industry.
July 1st was a national day of action targeting the companies and investment firms which make the private prison industry possible. The Austin protest was one of over a dozen actions held across the United States calling for an end to an unjust system of profit over people.
Members of TUFF were at the corner of Congress Avenue and Cesar Chavez Street at lunchtime chanting, handing out flyers and engaging the public on Wells Fargo's role in the anti-immigrant movement and industry. The protest ended with three members of TUFF delivering a letter to a Wells Fargo representative asking the bank to act according to its own stated commitment to community values.
Texans United For Families stated "Wells Fargo is a major investor in the private prison corporation the GEO Group, holding over 3.5 million shares in GEO valued at $92 million. GEO has a history of human rights violations, especially in their Texas facilities, leading to deaths, riots, and hunger strikes. Even so, GEO continues profiting from billions in taxpayer dollars. Wells Fargo’s investment in GEO is supporting the construction of a new detention center in Karnes County, TX. GEO’s history points to future human rights violations at this facility. Wells Fargo claims to value community-building and ethics, yet they are investing in and profiting from an industry with unethical practices that harm our communities and prevent our feeling of belonging to a community."
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