Extinction Rebellion is staging Black Friday protests outside a number of Amazon warehouses today.
The ‘Black Friday’ blockade – which is reported to have been taking place since 5am today – is part of an international action by the global environmental movement that is targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres throughout the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands.
The climate change action group says that people from all across the country are taking part in the demonstrations, with 13 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,” Extinction Rebellion said.
The Manchester protesters are stationed outside Amazon’s Altrincham base, which has resulted in Sunbank Lane near Manchester Airport being closed in both directions from Wilmslow Road to Ridge Avenue, and Greater Manchester Police urging drivers to find alternative routes as the traffic continues to build up.
According to a statement published on the Extinction Rebellion website, the demonstrations are aimed at highlighting Amazon’s “crimes” on the “major discount day”.
The statement continues: “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. Amazon is known for a long list of widely recognised crimes – from tax avoidance to the exploitation of workers, to rampant wastefulness and ecological destruction – while making its founder and largest shareholder Jeff Bezos one of the richest men on earth.
“The action aims to expose Amazon’s crimes, while holding it up as an example of the wider economic system, which is designed to keep us hooked on buying things we don’t need, at a price the planet cannot afford.”
The Manchester group is blocking the road using bamboo structures, lock-ons, and banners with the words “MAKE AMAZON PAY” and “INFINITE GROWTH, FINITE PLANET” on them.
They say they intend to stay for at least 48 hours.
“Amazon claims to care about its customers,” the Extinction Rebellion statement continues, “but the reality is it’s trapping them in a web of toxic consumerism, exploiting the planet and the people who work for them [and] if we don’t address the obsession with unlimited growth, we will not address the ecological crisis.
“With new warehouses popping up every month, taking action against Amazon has become an absolute necessity,” ex Amazon employee and current Extinction Rebellion protestor concludes.
Featured Image – Twitter / Extinction Rebellion UK