PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A planned week-long protest to “shut down ICE profiteers” began late Monday morning in downtown Portland.
The protest began at Bank of the West, 810 SW Broadway, and last about an hour before they march to the Microsoft retail outlet at 300 SW Yamhill.
Organizers announced the week long action against “profiteers” of Immigration and Custom Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection. They encouraged protesters to “bring signs and your bodies.”
They claim migrant detentions and deportations are big business for corporations, financial institutions and and private prisons.
“It’s time to follow the money and effect the bottom line of entities that profit from the criminalization of migration,” organizers said in a statement.
“This bank has been an agent to a loan to private prisons and to the ICE organization, so they’re basically private prison profiteers,” an organizer told KOIN 6 News. “We’re against that. We think people should divest from this bank.”
They’re protesting Microsoft “because they’ve provided facial recognition technology to the ICE organization.”
In a statement provided to KOIN 6 News, a Microsoft spokesperson said:
“Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. We’re also not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose.
“We’ve worked for more than 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents – and as a company, we’re dismayed that these types of situations are occurring. We’ve urged the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation to ensure children remain with their families.”