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Utah students protest Wells Fargo

By Josh West |
April 11, 2013
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April 6 protest protest at Wells Fargo
April 6 protest protest at Wells Fargo (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Utah students protest at Wells Fargo
Utah students protest at Wells Fargo

Provo, UT - Students and community members protested in front of the Wells Fargo building on April 6 to voice their opposition to Wells Fargo’s hypocritical marketing. Wells Fargo deeply invests in privately owned prisons through firms like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the U.S.

CCA operates several immigrant detention centers throughout the country while financially backing anti-immigrant legislation such as Arizona’s infamous Senate Bill 1070. SB 1070 promotes racial profiling of Chicanos, Mexicans and American Indians and gives police the power to arrest based on whether individuals are carrying identification documents. Wells Fargo and the CCA want more arrests, to increase the numbers of people in immigrant detention centers, thereby raising revenues and profits.

The Utah Valley Dream Team, an immigrant rights organization, led the protest with the Revolutionary Students Union (Utah Valley University chapter) supporting them.

Wells Fargo also advertises extensively in Spanish-language media, informing listeners that they do not need an ID to open up a bank account. At the same time, Wells Fargo is financing the state laws and immigrant detention centers, leading to the harassment, detention and deportation of undocumented workers.

According to event organizer Augustino Diaz, “We gathered to expose Wells Fargo’s financing of private prisons and lobbying efforts that separate and destroy families, especially in the undocumented community.”

During the protest members of the Dream Team closed their accounts with Wells Fargo, informing the bankers that they would be moving their money elsewhere due to the company’s investment in privately owned prisons.