Climate activists shut down Amazon UK warehouses on Black Friday
Activists from the Extinction Rebellion blocked the entrance to an Amazon fulfillment center, preventing trucks from entering or leaving on Black Friday, the world’s busiest day of the year, in Tilbury, England, Friday, November 26, 2021. The group targeted Amazon sites in Doncaster, Darlington, Denverlin , Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugele, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury and Milton Keynes. (Ian West/PA via AP)
Climate activists are besieging Amazon warehouses across the UK on Friday in a bid to pressure the e-commerce giant on one of its busiest days of the year to improve working conditions and end business practices that harm the environment.
Extinction Rebellion members have targeted 13 Amazon fulfillment centers in the UK with the goal of disrupting 50% of the company’s deliveries on Black Friday, marking the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
Activists have blocked the entrance to an Amazon warehouse in Tilbury, east London, with a statue of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sitting atop a rocket.
At an Amazon distribution center in Dunfermline, Scotland, about 20 Extinction Rebellion members hung signs across the entrance road that read “Make Amazon Pay” and locked themselves together, preventing trucks from entering and others from leaving.
The group demands that Amazon provide better working conditions, clear environmental commitments, and that the company pay its fair share of taxes.
“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 wasting Black Friday,” the group said.
Extinction Rebellion said it’s part of a broader international effort that also targets Amazon’s fulfillment centers in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.
Amazon did not address the protests directly in response to a request for comment, but said the company is taking its responsibilities “extremely seriously.”
“This includes our commitment to being net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years before the Paris Agreement – providing excellent wages and benefits in a safe, modern working environment, and supporting the tens of thousands of small UK businesses selling in our shop,” the company said.
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