Dozens of protesters have been arrested at the Amazon Books store in Manhattan engaging in protests yesterday, reports Gizmodo. The protesters were members of multiple Jewish organizations who were calling for an end to Amazon’s cloud computing contracts and other technical support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Amazon’s ENTIRE bookstore is currently being occupied by hundreds of #JewsAgainstICE.
We are in solidarity with Amazon workers who have called on the company to cut its ties with ICE. pic.twitter.com/3qlW5j4PZO
— Esor (@esorfasal) August 11, 2019
One of the protest’s organizers, Sophie Ellman-Golan, told Gizmodo that the #JewsAgainstICE protest drew around 1,000 participants outside the Amazon Books store on Sunday, with 40 people being arrested.
Without Amazon, ICE cannot round immigrants up to imprison them in concentration camps or deport them. #JewsAgainstICE will not stay silent while tech companies profit off of cruelty.#NeverAgainIsNow pic.twitter.com/dhRDkjSSP7
— Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (@JFREJNYC) August 11, 2019
Heard an estimate of 40 arrests, not sure if there’s an official number pic.twitter.com/muxdpspQxm
— Cashew ???????????? (@aravahshifra) August 11, 2019
The protests were an effort to call attention to Amazon’s AWS technologies that are used by ICE, which has recently stepped up immigration raids. The date chosen for the protests was a Jewish holiday known as Tisha B’Av. The day is a day of fasting and mourning for disasters than have struck Jewish people throughout history. In a statement, protest organizers said, “This day is a call to action to prevent a modern-day tragedy against another targeted minority group.”
This is not the first time Amazon’s tech has been called out due to its connections with government agencies. Recently Amazon shareholders attempted to block the company from selling its facial recognition software to police departments. That attempt was ultimately defeated.