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Protestors to Wells Fargo: Divest from GEO Group!

On Friday, I joined a protest by Texans United for Families against Wells Fargo's investment in private prison corporation GEO Group.  The protests, part of a larger private prison divestment campaign initiated by immigrant and worker rights organization Enlace, took place in more than 13 cities aroun

d the country including in Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, and other locations. 

Wells Fargo is one of the largest institutional investors in GEO Group, holding more than 3.5 million shares or $92 million dollars in the private prison corporation.  Protestors are particularly critical of GEO Group's lobbying and role in building new immigrant detention centers, including the a new prison in Karnes County, Texas

According to the protesters press release:

"'The private prison industry relies on taxpayers for its income and then lobbies for policies that benefit its bottom line,' said Dave Kalloor of Texans United for Families. 'Harsh immigrant incarceration policies and new detention centers, like one Karnes County, Texas, are some of the most lucrative policies for GEO and other private prison corporations.'  ...

Wells Fargo’s support of the GEO Group is even more troubling in light of GEO’s history in Texas. GEO’s facilities include prisons, immigration detention centers, and juvenile detention centers where people have suffered from inadequate medical care and unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Deaths, riots, and hunger strikes at GEO’s facilities are indicative of GEO’s culture of cruelty and underscore the need to end construction of new GEO facilities.

GEO is currently constructing a new immigration detention center in Karnes County, Texas. 'GEO and Wells Fargo profit from the detention and deportation system that separates families and tears our communities apart. Wells Fargo claims to support community-building and value ethics, yet they are investing in an industry with unethical practices that harm immigrants, people of color, and youth,' said Rocío Villalobos of Texans United for Families."

Check out Austin Indymedia's post for audio and additional coverage of the protest.  We'll keep you posted on developments from the private prison divestment campaign.

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OR, as a customer, I DIVEST from Wells Fargo!  Simple as that!