The heads of some of the most renowned companies in the U.S. may soon become targets of an anti-Trump torrent that has already damaged brands and sent politicians ducking for cover.
The CEOs and board members of Boeing, Disney, and seven other corporations are now in the crosshairs of progressive groups who say these business giants are complicit in some of the most controversial pieces of President Donald Trump’s agenda. The campaign, launched by Make the Road New York, the Center for Popular Democracy, and more than a dozen other left-leaning organizations around the country, seeks to channel a groundswell of liberal outrage since Trump’s inauguration toward these companies and their top brass.
“Some of America’s most well-known companies are cashing in on the exploitation of immigrants and workers,” said Ana Maria Archila, an executive director with the Center for Popular Democracy. “They can’t be allowed to operate under the radar any longer.”
The name-and-shame campaign also zeroes in on Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, IBM, BlackRock, Uber, and The Blackstone Group.
Activists claim that these companies have cultivated ties to the Trump administration and are poised to profit off the president’s signature issues. Boeing, for example, donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee and has a seat on the president’s manufacturing initiative. With investments in the private prison industry, companies like JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs stand to make a mint from the White House’s immigration crackdown.
The tip of the campaign’s spear is an online platform called “Corporate Backers of Hate,” which organizers unveiled late last week. The website provides details of the alleged ties between Trump and each company and lists the CEO and board members of the businesses by name. The platform then urges visitors to “Give ‘Em Hell” by allowing them to send messages directly to these company bigwigs.
Activists are also taking their fight to the streets. Hundreds of demonstrators who participated in the nationwide May Day and “Day Without Immigrants” rallies on Monday showed up outside the headquarters of JPMorgan and a nearby Wells Fargo in Manhattan to highlight the banks’ financing of private Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. Around a dozen protestors were arrested, according to reports.
Neither JPMorgan nor Wells Fargo immediately responded to requests for comment.
Organizers behind Corporate Backers of Hate hope to seize on the surging wave of activism on the left that’s formed since Trump’s victory in November. Activists have relentlessly hounded elected officials with phone calls, emails, faxes, and protests, urging them to publicly disavow the president. They have also pressured retail giants like Nordstrom to no longer carry products sold under the brand of Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and forced other companies to pull advertising from Fox News and Breitbart, two media outlets with a decidedly pro-Trump bent.
“Whether we like it or not, everything is political now, including business,” Aaron Chatterji, associate professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, told Time. “We can leverage the way people interact with campaigns to the way they interact with companies.”
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