(CelebrityAccess) — More than 800 artists, including indie music icons Deerhoof, Ted Leo, Álex Anwandter, Immortal Technique, and Speedy Ortiz, have signed a pledge to boycott Amazon’s music festivals over the e-commerce giant’s contracts with their Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies.
The boycott pledge, included in an open letter signed by the artists, calls on Amazon to stop supporting human rights abuses and terminate its existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit what many critics describe as human rights abuses
The letter also calls on Amazon to stop providing cloud services and tools to organizations (such as Palantir) which are involved in deportations and to end support for projects such as Amazon’s facial recognition tools.
“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,” the open letter said. “We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us.”
The letter was organized by an ad-hoc group of artists and activists including Sadie Dupuis, Evan Greer, Adult Mom, Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Alex Lichtenauer, @k8_or_die, Carmen Perry of Remember Sports, and Jes Skolnik.
One would think that shame would be enough. One would think that providing AI and facial recognition technology to military and law enforcement, during a time of mass deportations, crackdowns on popular protests, and flagrant incidents of police brutality would give one pause. But that’s not the way Amazon works. As Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector of Amazon Web Services, explains Amazon’s priorities during this era of what many are calling a neo-fascist takeover of several world governments including our own, ‘We are committed to our customer, and we are unwaveringly committed to the U.S. government and the governments we work with around the world.’ We musicians are therefore organizing something more than shame. A boycott!” added Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier.