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TWAC Storms Prison Industry Giant GEO Group’s HQ in Boca Raton

April 9, 2013

[Update: As of 10:40 am, four TWAC folks who were occupying the GEO lobby have been arrested. The police removed the doors to the building to get them out. Sounds like that might be an inconvenience! We are told donations towards legal support can be made here. For those who missed the story last week, TWAC organizers also confronted the history of colonization and genocide in St. Augustine by disrupting a re-enactment of Ponce de Leon "discovering" Florida. Bad-asses.]

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TWAC storms the GEO Group HQ in Boca Raton

TWAC storms the GEO Group HQ in Boca Raton

by EF! Newswire

The movement powerhouse which has come to be known across the country as TWAC, the Trans and Womyns’ Action Camp, has done it again!

This morning at 9am, following the first east coast TWAC camp, which took place in south Florida, activists stormed the lobby of GEO Group a prison-for-profit corporation located at 621 NW 53rd Street, Suite 700, Boca Raton, FL, 33487.

Two folks u-locked themselves to lobby doors, keeping them open long enough for a crowd to enter and disrupt business as usual for GEO Group (who is still reeling from an ass-whooping by FAU students which got their name kicked off the Boca campus’ new sports stadium.)

TWAC occupying GEO Group lobby

TWAC occupying GEO Group lobby

As of 10am, we’ve received updates that police have locked exterior doors to building with 5 activist remaining inside blocking office doors.  A crowd of 40 remains outside chanting and raising a ruckus. The entire road into the business complex of the GEO corporate office has been blocked by law enforcement!

TWAC, which was born out of the Earth First! movement in the Pacific Northwest, has become a leading example of linking struggles to grow a more effective solidarity-based grassroots direct action movement.

Women and trans folks out there feeling like you missed out? Don’t fret. TWAC Cascadia will be holding an ecodefense action camp this Summer in western Oregon, July 23-29, 2013: “a week of discussion, skillshares, networking, workshops, story telling, and action.”

The morning’s TWAC press release had this to say, in English and Spanish, about GEO Group:  

Boca Police serve their corporate overlords and attempt to return peace and quite to the brutal daily operation of GEO.

Boca Police serve their corporate overlords and attempt to return peace and quite to the brutal daily operation of GEO.

On Tuesday, TWAC activists will let GEO know that pulling out of the stadium deal doesn’t get them off the hook. Cancelling the contract does nothing to change GEO’s long record of human rights abuse of detainees at taxpayer expense, nor does it diminish GEO’s profit-driven influence on legislation that increases criminalization of offenses which has resulted in millions of people behind bars, record deportation rates, and longer jail sentences.

TWACers hold their ground in front of the GEO offices.

This protest comes on the heels of TWAC, a weeklong gathering of almost 100 female and transgender activists to share skills and campaign information, and organize opposition to the prison-industrial complex. Prisons and immigrant detention centers, GEO’s primary investments, target poor people, people of color, and transgender individuals. As female and transgender organizers, we are more vulnerable to violence within these institutions. GEO has a clear record of human rights abuses within its facilities.

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Desobediencia Civil para interrumpir las funciones de las oficinas del grupo GEO en el Sur de la Florida:

Los/las manifestantes expondran la corporación de cárceles privadas que promueven encarcelamiento masivo y detención

twac-geo-5El grupo GEO es una compañia de correccionales privadas que posee 101 facilidades incluyendo prisiones, centros de detención, y centros de rehabilitación para adultos y jóvenes. El grupo GEO recientemente ha estado en las noticias por la oposición local y nacional a que este comprara los derechos para nombrar el estadio de la Universidad Florida Atlantic (FAU) por 6 millones de dólares. En abril 1, el grupo GEO anunció que se habia retirado de el trato con FAU.

twac-geo-banner-vs-cop 6El martes, los activistas de TWAC le dejaran saber a GEO que el haberse retirado del trato con la universidad no los deja fuera de la controversia. Cancelar el contrato no hace nada para cambiar el largo record de violaciones a los derechos humanos de GEO y el abuso a los detenidos con el dinero de los contribuyentes. Tampoco disminuye la influencia por beneficio que GEO tiene sobre la legislación que incrementa la criminalización de ofensas la cual ha resultado en millones de personas bajo llave, record número de deportaciones y sentencias mayores.

twac-geo-out-front7Atraves de la última decada, GEO ha gastado mas de 2 millones de dólares en cabildeo y campaña en el estado de la Florida, y mas de 2.7 millones al nivel federal. Este cabildeo ha funcionado: en el 2005 recibieron $33.6 millones en contratos con Imigracion and Customs Enforcement (ICE) y en el 2011 recibieron $216 millones en contratos con ICE. El grupo GEO es también miembro de ALEC, un grupo de membresía  que trabaja para escribir un modelo de legislación con compañias multinacionales e influencia a los legisladores para pasar leyes de perfil racial que benefician a sus miembros. La ley de Arizona SB1070, que efectivamente usa el perfil racial, y ha transformando el estatus de las personas sin documentos en un crimen, fue redactada por ALEC.twac-geo-4-9-138

Twitter: #dropGEO

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