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Tucson: Angry community members storm G4S Wackenhut office

June 30, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tucson: Angry community members storm G4S Wackenhut office

Contact: Genevieve Shroeder (406) 529.2424
Matthew Johnson


Protest Targets Prison Firm for Profiteering, Police Cite 16 for Trespassing
Press statement

Censored News
TUCSON –(June 29, 2011) At around 2 p.m. today, community members burst uninvited into the Tucson offices of private security firm G4S and declared in no uncertain terms their opposition to the company’s profiteering at the expense of immigrant communities in Tucson, across the nation and throughout the world. Incensed by G4S’ role in promoting the criminalization of immigrants and the expansion of the private prison industry, the protestors entered the G4S office complex, delivered a letter to company representatives and unfurled a banner reading “G4S: Prison profiteering destroys communities.”

Today’s action, which was organized autonomously by Tucson community members, was carried out under the banner of Direct Action for Freedom of Movement. Although the protesters were never asked to leave the building, and were there only 10 minutes, the Tucson Police cited 16 individuals for criminal trespassing.

G4S is the world’s largest security company and has public contracts to transport, detain and imprison immigrants throughout the world. The company is infamous for the mistreatment of individuals in its custody, with the most atrocious examples including the senseless deaths of two inmates in 2010. Since 2006, G4S has provided transportation for Customs and Border Protection and, in 2010 alone, secured over 125 million dollars in contracts from the Department of Homeland Security.

G4S not only reaps the profits of border enforcement, they also shape public policy to criminalize immigrants and ensure a steady stream of people to fill their buses and jails. G4S subsidiary Wackenhut is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the organization responsible for drafting the model legislation that became SB1070 and similar laws in Utah, Georgia, Indiana and Alabama.

Protest participant Carly Rexroad explained the goals of today’s action: “G4S is the world’s largest private security firm, reaping millions in profit from imprisoning immigrants and tearing families apart. By targeting G4S we hope to help illuminate the connections between prison profiteering and the proliferation of state legislation that criminalizes immigrants and funnels them into the jails and detention facilities of the very companies who wrote and lobbied for that legislation. As long as this pattern continues, G4S can expect to see actions like today’s multiply and escalate.”

Community member Matthew Johnson described the ways in which profiteering destroys communities: “The grotesque face of border militarization is evident in every SBInet surveillance tower now left defunct to litter the desert, every mile of border wall that scars the landscape, and every G4S-operated bus that deports hundreds of people each day or drives them to Tucson to be fed directly into the prison industry through the expedited proceedings of Operation Streamline. Every immigrant transported by G4S for deportation or incarceration represents a family whose loved one is missing, locked in a cage or unceremoniously dumped over the southern border.”


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