Thursday, March 2, 2017

SXSW Policy Sells Out People to ICE

I was thinking I wasn't going to post anything today because I've been feeling a bit worn down and uninspired lately (which can happen when things are so terrible for so long and I don't want to burn out) but something happened that actually surprised me. And that was the sighting of a tweet by Rosie of Make Me a Sammich (how long as it been since I plugged her, she is awesome) with a screenshot of part of the SXSW policy on panelists.

It doesn't seem out of the norm at first but keep reading.

WTF?? If anybody showcasing their work does something you don't like, you're just gonna straight up try to have them deported??? And that something you don't like can include trying to show their work at other events or just to the public???

Dear people in charge of SXSW. You are not only assholes, you're colluding with jackboots who are participating in ethnic cleansing and generally upholding a dangerous xenophobic atmosphere in a Southern state. In the coming revolution, you will not be spared.

If you're not aware, SXSW is short for South by Southwest, a group of festivals in Austin, Texas that showcase music artists, film makers, and interactive media creators. These artists can display their work to many thousands of people in the hopes of drumming up interest in their project. It's huge, to the point that people do come over from other nations.

Threatening to have anyone's passport/visa confiscated is fucked up enough, but this threat using this kind of language in this kind of political atmosphere is beyond disgusting. According to A.V. Club, artists at SXSW often pursue unofficial, non-licensed-by-SXSW venues and shows because getting an official spot in one of these festivals is very expensive. So this is a punishment for those without a lot of money as well as a xenophobia-fueling threat to people traveling thousands of miles in order to pursue their dreams.

Apparently this isn't a new policy, but it's still appalling and its continued presence in their policies is doubly appalling in today's xenophobic atmosphere. SXSW itself responded to the circulating screenshots of the contract by saying that they themselves wouldn't deport anybody.

Nobody thought you would, you assholes. Calling ICE is bad enough on its own. And no matter how they try to twist it, it says right there that "Accepting and performing unofficial events may result in immediate deportation, revoked passport and denied entry by US Customs Border Patrol at US ports of entry."

Fuck you, SXSW. Anybody who would sell out immigrants or any visiting person from another country to customs or ICE is fucking terrible. I hope you lose so much money over this.

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