Amazon warehouses targeted by Extinction Rebellion in Black Friday protest
Amazon UK warehouses are being targeted by Extinction Rebellion activists in a Black Friday blockade.
The demonstrations started with around 20 activists at one of the ecommerce giant’s distribution centres in Dunfermline, Fife, at 4am.
The climate action group is also targeting centres in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury and Milton Keynes.
Activists with placards and “lock-ons” have halted lorries entering the centre and stopped a number from leaving, The Standard reported.
“The police have one van on site and they are watching us,” Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Meg Paton-Jones said at the blockade in Scotland.
A separate Extinction Rebellion activist added: “The action is intended to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices, disregard for workers’ rights in the name of company profits, as well as the wastefulness of Black Friday.
The blockade is part of an international action by Extinction Rebellion targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, aimed at highlighting Amazon’s ‘crimes’.
This is happening in solidarity with activists and workers from the global Make Amazon Pay campaign, demanding better working conditions, clear environmental commitments, and for Amazon to pay their fair share of tax.
Protester Eleanor Harris, from Glasgow reiterated the group’s cause by saying: “It is essential we move to a new model of economics that prioritises wellbeing and sustainability over profit.
“Amazon continues to lobby the US government to fight against climate legislation while telling the public they are committed to green initiatives. They are committing the very definition of greenwash.”
“The era of exploitative throw-away capitalism will soon be over, either by changing to meet the challenges we now face or by the destruction of our global habitats and societies.”
An Amazon spokesperson said: “At Amazon, we take our responsibilities very seriously. That includes our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement – providing excellent pay and benefits in a safe and modern work environment, and supporting the tens of thousands of British small businesses who sell on our store.
“We know there is always more to do, and we’ll continue to invent and invest on behalf of our employees, customers, small businesses and communities in the UK.
“We’re proud to have invested £32bn in the UK since 2010, creating 10,000 new permanent jobs across the country this year alone, and generating a total UK tax contribution of £1.55bn in 2020.”
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