Boca Raton, FL – Today, over 100 people from across the country joined a protest outside
the GEO Group’s annual shareholder meeting at the Boca Resort and Club. GEO, a private company, bills itself as the “largest provider of correctional services in the world.” Groups participating in the protest included Florida Immigrant Coalition, Dream Defenders, Florida New Majority, Power U Center for Social Change, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Grassroots Leadership, Enlace and others.
Protestors chanted “Profit for pain is inhumane” and “Brick by brick, Wall by wall, tear down the prisons and free them all” and other messages aimed at exposing the GEO Group. Dream Defenders also performe “GEO-o-poly,” which is based on the Monopoly board game and depicts the connections between slavery and for-profit incarceration.
Dream Defender members said that “It is really important to expose that the geo group makes money from black and brown bodies. The same people that run the school system, run the prison system. Thanks to the GEO group more cops and ICE come to our community arresting people and arrest them with false charges.” Another Dream Defender member said that “we here because slavery still exists, white supremacy still exists, and we will not allow this system to continue to profit from incarcerating us.”
Daniel Carrillo, Executive Director of Enlace said “My cousin just got out of prison on Friday, we are happy that he is reunited with our family. He was crying because he had lost years of not being with his children. We demand reparations for our communities for all the damages caused by the prison industry, and an end to all prisons. We demand reinvestment in our communities.”
A University of Central Florida (UCF) student exposed UCF’s investments in CCA and GEO. Saying that the GEO Group corrupts our system and education with draconian legislation. Students plan to continue divestment efforts at their campus.
This weekend these protestors together with many other organizers will participate in a historic gathering bringing grassroots black, brown, Asian, and immigrant organizations battling criminalization and incarceration. The convening is part of a National Prison Divestment Campaign working to jointly target corporations and politicians that collude to pass racist policies and legislation.