FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/25/18
Contact: Evan Greer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-852-6457
Human rights and Internet freedom groups are demonstrating at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference with a huge metal cage and a mobile billboard calling on the company to #CancelTheContract
Activists have constructed a 14 foot tall metal “detention center” outside Dreamforce–– Salesforce’s flagship conference in San Francisco, and have deployed a mobile billboard, which is circling the convention area, calling on the company to drop its multimillion dollar contract with US Border Patrol. A growing coalition of national and local organizations including Fight for the Future and Mijente have been pressuring Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Keith Block to cancel the contract, following widespread reports of human rights abuses carried out by US immigration authorities. .
Here is a collection of pictures from the action: https://medium.com/@fightfortheftr/human-digital-rights-groups-protest-at-dreamforce-1d7046e439f2
Here is a link to the livestream: https://www.facebook.com/fightfortheftr/videos/1905478303079412/
(These photos and video are available for use by press. Credit: Courtesy Fight for the Future. Check back soon for more as we’ll be adding to the galleries as they come in.)
The 14 foot detention center cage was created by artist Marcos Ramirez, and first appeared at the Burning Man festival. Today at Dreamforce it was adorned with banners reading “DETENTION CENTER, powered by Salesforce” and “Locking thousands of children away, powered by Salesforce.” The message is amplified by a 20 foot mobile billboard towed from a truck, which reads, “Salesforce is helping Border Patrol violate human rights.”
Dozens of organizations, and more than 300,000 people, have echoed the call for Salesforce to stop providing an operational backbone for US Border Patrol’s activities. Salesforce executives have continually refused, made excuses, and attempted to sweep the issue under the rug. In response, RAICES, one of the nation’s leading immigrants rights groups, recently refused a $250,000 donation from Salesforce, and Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters pulled out of catering Dreamforce. Fight for the Future and other groups launched DropSalesforce.com and are planning additional protests online and off surrounding the Dreamforce conference.
Leaders from the coalition behind today’s protest issued these statements:
“Salesforce is providing an operational base for CBP to carry out it’s border activities. And right now, as we have seen in the news, those activities include ripping families apart as they seek asylum and detaining more children than ever before” said Jelani Drew, campaigner at Fight for the Future, “Salesforce can either the ”
“CEO Marc Benioff continues to deny Salesforce’s role in upgrading Trump’s deportation machine as Trump grows his Border Patrol workforce with the help of Salesforce’s Community Cloud. Stop downplaying your role in the suffering of our communities, and cancel the contract,” said Marisa Franco, co founder of Mijente.
“We urge Marc Benioff and Salesforce to cancel the contract with customs and border patrol and to stop profiting from the forced separation and detention of innocent families on our borders,” said Maria Noel Fernandez, campaign director at Silicon Valley Rising.
“Salesforce today is acting no different than any other mechanism of ICE’s enforcement tyranny,” said Jonathan Ryan, the executive director of RAICES. “These policies cannot be enacted without people, and Salesforce drives the recruitment of those committing these abuses. Cancelling this contract would send a clear message heard by other companies around the world.”
“You don’t get to claim you are a socially responsible corporation while profiting off of human misery,” said Sue Udry, executive director at Defending Rights & Dissent. “We will be at Dreamforce to expose Salesforce’s hypocrisy, and will continue to call them out until they cancel their contract with CBP.”
"While Salesforce is partying at Dreamforce, children separated from their families at the border are having their dreams crushed. We’re making our presence known at Dreamforce and inviting their headline speakers Al Gore and Will.i.am, their employees, and their clients to join our chorus and tell Marc Benioff: Cancel The Contract,” said Tihi Hayslett of Demand Progress.
“Salesforce, through its contract with Customs and Border Patrol, is complicit in the forcible separation of families and in the racist detentions and deportations of black and brown immigrants. This is unacceptable,” said Reem Suleiman, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs. “Speakers at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual conference, are in effect endorsing this relationship with CBP by not speaking out against this abuse. Shame on them.”
“Salesforce has said many times that they are a socially responsible tech company but their work with CBP is in clear contradiction to their stated value,” said Scott Roberts, Senior Campaign Director with Color of Change. “Actions speak louder than words. Thousands of family have been torn apart and Salesforce continues to profit in the process. Everyone at Dreamforce this week needs to reflect on their responsibility for ending the cruel punishment, targeting and criminalizing of immigrants.”
“Salesforce and its CEO Marc Benioff should not be in the business of caging our families and destroying our democracy,” said Matt Nelson, Executive Director of Presente.org, the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group. “Salesforce cannot ask for our business by day and help lock up our families at night. We’re demanding real leadership — not just platitudes from the Salesforce cloud — and our hundreds of thousands of members across the country will only support companies who are not afraid to protect our human rights.”