Extinction Rebellion block Amazon warehouses on Black Friday
The group Tweeted that from 5am this morning it was blocking 15 Amazon distribution centres in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
In the UK, there are blockades in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury, Milton Keynes and Dunfermline. These sites account for just over 50% of Amazon deliveries in the UK.
The group is blocking the entrances using bamboo structures, lock-ons, and banners with the words “Amazon crime”, “infinite growth, finite planet” and “Black Friday exploits people and planet” on them.
In Tilbury, a rocket has part blocked the entrance with a model of Jeff Bezos sat riding it, and the words “to extinction and beyond” written on its side. The group intends to stay for at least 48 hours.
Extinction Rebellion says the action is taking place on Black Friday in order to “confront the exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices of one of the world’s largest companies”.
The group lists Amazon’s “crimes” – from tax avoidance to the exploitation of workers, to “rampant wastefulness” and ecological destruction. It says Black Friday “epitomises an obsession with overconsumption that is not consistent with a liveable planet”.
Dr Jackie Mulligan, expert on the Government’s High Streets Task Force and founder of Shoplocalonline.org, said: “The anti-Black Friday movement has been building for some time and so this latest move by Extinction Rebellion doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Black Friday is bad news for the environment full stop, which is why we’re encouraging people to shop locally with small independents this Christmas rather than with the online giants, where products are often imported from the other side of the world.
“Wherever possible, we should all try and make Black Friday a Green Friday. Visiting the small independents on your local high street not only reduces your carbon footprint compared to buying through Amazon but will also give them some much needed rocket fuel, rather than blast Bezos and friends into space.”
Jamie Rackham, founder of Facebook group, not on Amazon, said: “Black Friday is a celebration of corporations that don’t care about the planet and Amazon, in the eyes of many, is the apotheosis of carelessness. With Friday’s actions, Extinction Rebellion have turned the spotlight on the elephant in the room. The connections between high growth capitalism at any cost, for-the-sake-of-it consumption and the destruction of the planet are plain for all to see.”