Several acts have started to remove their music from Amazon Music in protest against the company’s connection with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Amazon does not have a direct contract with ICE but it does have a deal with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in which its Amazon Web Services host DHS databases that are in turn used by the government to track down immigrants.
- Read more: No Music For ICE: Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis explains why indie musicians are waging war on retail giant Amazon
In opposition to the company’s links with ICE, bands and artists including Speedy Ortiz, Deerhoof, Downtown Boys, La Neve and Adult Mom have pledged support for the campaign ‘No Music For ICE’. The campaign aims to ensure that “mass takedowns” of the musicians’ work will begin tomorrow (November 29) on Black Friday.
“We’re calling on musicians & labels who oppose ICE’s human rights abuses to join us during the holiday season,” a statement by the protest’s organisers reads. “Mass takedowns will begin on Black Friday and continue throughout Amazon’s all-important holiday shopping season.”
— speedy ortiz haunted presence? (@sad13) November 25, 2019
We've requested that our distributor pull our music from @AmazonMusic because we agree that there should be #NoMusicForICE. This cruel organization regularly violates human rights and the American spirit, and we won't be party to it.
Read more here.https://t.co/nIY13qa14G
— 𝔻𝕖𝕖𝕣𝕙𝕠𝕠𝕗 (@deerhoof) November 26, 2019
In October, hundreds of artists signed an open letter urging other members of the music community to boycott festivals and events sponsored by Amazon. The artists supporting the No Music For ICE movement aim to abandon support of Amazon until the company pledges to terminate existing contracts with government agencies that commit what they claim are human rights abuses.
Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz told NME last month: “We’re committing to not do these until they stop supporting ICE, and developing facial recognition that’s being sold to racist police forces.”
More than 1,000 artists have signed the original petition boycotting Amazon events, including Chastity Belt, of Montreal, Shamir, Sheer Mag, Car Seat Headrest, DIIV, Girlpool, Jay Som, Vivian Girls, Zola Jesus, and many others.
In the run up to the launch of ‘No Music for ICE’ The Black Madonna learned that Amazon Web Services was sponsoring Las Vegas’ Intersect Music Festival (December 6-7, 2019) where she was due to perform.
The DJ took to Twitter to express her outrage before being released from her contract to play the event. “What the fuck is this Amazon shit,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “I absolutely did not agree to this. Oh hell no.”