Sunday, May 15, 2011

First-ever protest at CCA HQ over immigrant detention

Screen capture from video by Jacob Flowers

For the first time, it looks like Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America ("CCA") is getting some local resistance to its role in immigrant detention.

CCA, which self-describes as the "nation’s leading provider of correctional solutions to federal, state and local government," has been in national and world headlines over the past few years over its treatment of immigrants at the behest of the U.S. government (see the coverage of those stories, including links to CCA's response).

The Nashville media has been largely (but not completely) silent on those controversies, and, perhaps as a result, Tennesseans have asked few hard questions of their corporate neighbor.

This past Thursday, however, that passive, neighborly attitude started to change. Nashville's NPR affiliate WPLN reported that a CCA shareholder meeting in Burton Hills was the site of a protest by Tennesseans calling for major investors to divest.  The Nashville Post alerted its readers, as well.

The novelty here is that we had a good-old, Volunteer State protest on our hands.  When it comes to CCA's treatment of immigrants, this is the first time I am aware of that Tennesseans visited CCA's Burton Hills headquarters to speak up.  To boot, at least two local media outlets told the story.

We locals aren't the only ones who cared enough to speak up, however.  The Nashville protest at CCA was just one site of five similar protests held across the country.

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