‘Abolish ICE’ Movement Makes Its Way to Burning Man Festival

Protesters and human rights activists fighting within the “Abolish ICE” movement have built an enormous cage labeled with the acronym of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The wooden structure was then taken to the festival venue, in an effort to raise awareness of Palantir and Amazon’s involvement with the federal immigration agency, Newsweek reported.

The contract between Palantir and the ICE is worth around $51 million and was signed in order for Palantir to provide investigative case management software to the agency, the U.S. government’s spending website has shared.

According to The Intercept, Palantir has created a software that helps ICE manage data of undocumented immigrants, and this includes information about their employment, immigration history, as well as phone records.

“ICE’s actions have been enabled by tech companies like Palantir that give the agency critical software,” organizers with Mijente, a national advocacy group for the Latinx and Chicanx communities that organized the Burning Man demonstration, said in a statement to Newsweek. “At Burning Man, we aimed to remind tech workers that they are complicit in these abuses.”

The advocacy group said that while it seeks to raise awareness around Palantir’s role, it also wants to “target key levers upholding Palantir—one of which is Amazon Web Services, who hosts their data.”

“We need every tech worker across the country to say, ‘not in my name’ and condemn the actions of companies who enable Trump’s deportation machine,” they said.

“At Burning Man, tech workers feel free—to be who they are, to make art, to take drugs and dance and generally revel,” they said.

“Nothing like that sanctuary exists for immigrants in this country now. Our community is fearful to attend birthday parties with family and friends,” they said, adding: “Tech workers must be reminded of that every day, and choose a side: Either ally with our country’s most vulnerable to oppose this deportation dragnet, or go down in history as an ICE collaborator.”

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