Amazon, through its subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS), provides server space and infrastructure to thousands upon thousands of organizations and corporations across the world. It’s an open platform, meaning anyone can use it, and Amazon can’t necessarily dictate who can and who can’t. One of its users is Palantir, a data analytics company which has contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more commonly known as ICE.
Hundreds of artists have now pledged to cut ties with Amazon in an open letter entitled ‘No Music For ICE.’ The letter makes four demands of Amazon:
* Terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses
* Stop providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government’s deportation machine
* End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon’s facial recognition product
* Reject future engagements w/ aforementioned bad actors.
The likelihood that any or all of these demands will be met is up for debate; however, government contracts are likely to provide a large portion of the service’s revenue throughout the year.
“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 letter concludes. “We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us.”
To add your name to the letter, fill out this form. At time of publishing, the letter boasts 475 names.
The letter comes less than a week after The Black Madonna expressed outrage at being booked for Intersect Festival in Las Vegas, which is powered by AWS. The festival features a considerable lineup, including mainstream acts like Foo Fighters, Spoon, Beck, Kacey Musgraves, Thundercat, JPEGMAFIA, and more. It’s still to be seen if any of these artists will denounce the festival, as well.