Protesters Occupy the Entrance to a Private Prison Company's Headquarters in Tennessee - Pacific Standard

Protesters Occupy the Entrance to a Private Prison Company's Headquarters in Tennessee

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Dozens of protesters on Monday shut down the Nashville, Tennessee, entrance to the headquarters of CoreCivic, a private prison company whose government contracts include immigrant detention.

Protesters—some of whom have chained themselves to giant metal barrels weighed down with concrete—say they will not disperse until the multi-billion-dollar company is abolished, the Tennessean reports.

No Exceptions Prison Collective, an interfaith ministry and advocacy group based in Tennessee, is among the groups blocking the entrance.

"CoreCivic is a human rights disaster in our own backyard," said the Reverend Jeannie Alexander, the director of No Exceptions Prison Collective, in a statement to press. "Today we move to abolish CoreCivic."

In June, CoreCivic released a statement explaining that the company does not house immigrant children who were separated from their families as a result of the Trump administration's short-lived "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

"CoreCivic plays a valued but limited role in America's immigration system, which we have done for every administration—Democrat and Republican—for more than 30 years," said Amanda Gilchrist, a spokesperson for the company, in a press statement. "Much of the information about our company being shared by special interest groups is wrong and politically motivated, resulting in some people reaching misguided conclusions about what we do."

By noon in Tennessee, multiple protesters had been arrested. At least a few dozen remained blocking the entrance at that time.

Natalie Allison, a reporter for the Tennessean, posted a video on Twitter that she said shows police carrying Alexander by her hands and feet into the back of a police vehicle.

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