More than 400 artists pledged to boycott Amazon events and partnerships unless the company cuts ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The open letter, titled “No Music for ICE” was published late Wednesday by the group Fight for the Future.
“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. We call on all artists who believe in basic rights and human dignity to join us,” they write.
The 475 artists call on Amazon to “terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies,” including ICE, Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, that the musicians said “commit human rights abuses.”
They also call on Amazon to “reject future engagements” with the “aforementioned bad actors.”
The musicians also urge Amazon to stop providing cloud services and other tools to organizations “that power the US government’s deportation machine.”
They also push for Amazon to end projects that “encourage racial profiling and discrimination,” citing Amazon’s facial recognition product as an example.
In response to the situation, an ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox said the agency “respects the rights of all persons to peacefully express their views.”
“These responsibilities happen to include the enforcement of intellectual property rights laws that protect the rights of musical artists, along with more than 400 other federal statutes involving the illegal movement of people or goods” he continued.
Amazon’s “Intersect” festival is set to be held in Las Vegas in December. The event is being advertised as a music, arts and tech festival. It will feature more than 30 “innovative acts,” according to the event website including Kacey Musgraves, Foo Fighters and other artists.
Amazon has faced pushback over ties to ICE before, including a group of Whole Foods workers who called for their parent company to cut ties to the agency in August.
A separate protest was held outside an Amazon building in Cambridge, Mass., in September over the company’s cooperation with ICE.
This article was updated at 10:52 p.m.