Protesters expose G4S Wackenhut profiteering from migrants misery
By Brenda Norrell
TUCSON -- Community members burst into the Tucson offices of private security firm G4S uninvited, declaring their opposition to the company's profiteering at the expense of immigrant communities in Tucson, across the nation and throughout the world.
Sixteen protesters were cited by police as they exposed the global G4S, which profiteers from the misery of Indigenous Peoples, and all people of color, around the world.
Protesters said they were 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," the protesters said in a statement.
"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.”
Australian Aboriginal elder cooked to death by G4S
Duty of Care: beyond the case of Mr Ward, cooked to death by gigantic outsourcer G4S
Clare Sambrook, 8 June 2011
Last week in Western Australia, Graham Powell and Nina Stokoe, two former private security guards, pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the death of renowned Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, cooked to death while being transported more than 220 miles across searing Goldfields in a badly maintained van with faulty air conditioning in January 2008.