Bandcamp to hold ACLU fundraiser on February 3
President Trump’s controversial temporary ban placed on immigrants hailing from seven countries has catalyzed an enormous movement among American citizens to combat what they feel is a discriminatory and potentially unconstitutional action. Corporations such as Starbucks, as well as lawyers, have publicly joined civilians in the push back against the ban, pledging to hire refugees from affected countries or to do pro-bono work and file the necessary paperwork to help those trapped in airports return home safely.
Independent music sale platform Bandcamp becomes one of the latest corporate entities to join the cause in their own way with a mass fundraiser on Friday, February 3. Proceeds from every sale on their website that day will go directly to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose members have been working tirelessly with federal courts to amend the executive order signed by Trump that solidified the temporary ban.
The company’s CEO Ethan Diamond posted an open letter to users in announcing the fundraiser, calling attention to the fact that 98% of American citizens are descended from immigrants and that recent actions by the president and his cabinet are “in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution.” Additionally, he posted various albums by artists from the affected countries, and of Mexico.
Read the letter and listen to some clips below.
Like 98% of U.S. citizens (including the President), I am the descendant of immigrants—my great-grandparents came to America from Russia and Lithuania as teenagers and worked in sweatshops until they were able to afford to bring the rest of their families over. Most everyone you speak to in this country has a similar story to tell, because we are, in fact, a nation of immigrants, bound together by a shared belief in justice, equality, and the freedom to pursue a better life. In this context, last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is not simply immoral, it violates the very spirit and foundation of America.
Contrary to the assertions of the current administration, the order will not make us safer (an opinion shared by the State Department and many members of Congress including prominent Republicans). Christian religious leaders have denounced both the ban, as well as the exception prioritizing Christian immigrants, as inhumane. It is an unequivocal moral wrong, a cynical attempt to sow division among the American people, and is in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution. This is not who we are, and it is not what we believe in. We at Bandcamp oppose the ban wholeheartedly, and extend our support to those whose lives have been upended.
And so all day this Friday, February 3rd (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions.
As another way of showing solidarity with the immigrants and refugees from the seven banned countries—as well as those impacted by the construction of the Mexican border wall—we’ve compiled a list of albums made by artists from the affected countries (Bandcamp may be incorporated in the United States, but we host artists from every corner of the world). We believe that knowledge and empathy are crucial weapons against fear and intolerance. We hope that, as you listen to these albums, you’ll not only discover some great new artists, but will also gain a further appreciation and understanding for the way music transcends all borders, and remember that, even in the darkest of times, there is more that unites us than divides us.
— Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp Founder & CEO
H/T: Fact Mag