Extinction Rebellion crowds have closed roads to more than a dozen Amazon fulfillment centers across the UK as they target Black Friday shoppers.
Pictures showed activists sitting in large bamboo towers outside warehouses, preventing pickups and trucks from entering on the US giant’s busiest day of the year.
The protests began at 4 am as about 20 activists gathered outside Amazon’s distribution center in Dunfermline, the UK’s largest.
In Dartford – one of the thirteen sites targeted – protesters carried a banner that read “Black Friday is exploiting people and the planet”, while in Peterborough the slogan was “Endless growth harms the planet”.
In Manchester, XR scattered items along Sunbank Lane near Manchester Airport in order to stop traffic.
Other sites that have been blocked include sites in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Derby, Coventry, Rogeley, Bristol, Tilbury and Milton Keynes.
PETERBOROUGH: Extinction Rebellion activists block a street leading out of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Peterborough with bamboo structures and signs
Protesters carrying “locks” and truck slogans were prevented from entering the Scottish site and some from leaving.
“Police have one truck on site and they are keeping an eye on us,’ said an XR spokesperson at the Dunfermline siege, Meg Paton-Jones.
“We started here around 4am but don’t block the staff car park until the night shift can leave.
“We have good vibes and music.”
An XR spokesperson added: “The action aims to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices, disregard for workers’ rights in the name of the company’s profits, as well as wasting Black Friday.
The blockade is part of an international action by XR targeting 15 Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, with the aim of highlighting Amazon ‘crimes’.
This is happening in solidarity with the activists and workers of the global Make Amazon Pay campaign, to demand better working conditions, clear environmental commitments, and to pay Amazon its fair share of taxes.
Amazon continues to pressure the US government to fight climate legislation while telling the public that it is committed to green initiatives.
“They are committing to the same definition of Greenwash.”
Manchester: In Manchester, XR scattered items along Sunbank Lane near Manchester Airport in order to stop traffic
Demonstrator Eleanor Harris, from Glasgow, said: “It is imperative that we move to a new economic model that prioritizes well-being and sustainability over profit.
“The era of pariah exploitative capitalism will soon come to an end, either by changing to meet the challenges we now face or by destroying our global habitats and communities.”
Maciej Walczuk, a 19-year-old student, said: “We have to realize that consumption in the global north is largely based on the exploitation of the working class and the global south, while companies like Amazon are making huge profits and contributing to the worsening climate and environmental crisis.
“We need a new system that respects people and the planet, rather than blindly pursuing profit.”
XR South East UK tweeted: “ Extinction Rebellion blockade #AMAZON across the UK and Europe at #BlackFriday holds them responsible for the damage they are doing to #PeopleAndPlanet. #InfiniteGrowthFinitePlanet. “
But outraged social media users criticized, with one tweet: ‘Climate OK…but you need public support to make the government care.’
“Road closures only annoy people and lose the goodwill of the public (especially workers whose taxes pay your benefits).”
Peterborough: XR activists put up a sign along the road that says “Unlimited Growth, Limited Planet.” Protesters use bamboo structures because it takes time to dismantle the police
Peterborough: There was a person sitting in each of the bamboo structures (including this one in Peterborough). It is designed to be as difficult to disassemble as possible
MANCHESTER: A protester sits on top of a wooden crate in front of the Amazon freight center at Manchester Airport
MANCHESTER: Activists hoisted a banner saying infinite growth a finite planet’ – a common phrase repeated by the likes of Greta Thunberg
Amazon has posted a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions across the business by 2040, 10 years before the Paris Agreement.
Earlier this month, XR pledged to rally two million protesters to launch what it says will be “the largest act of civil resistance in UK history” in April next year.
The Environmental Campaign group vowed today after criticizing this month’s climate summit, claiming it did not go far enough to tackle the crisis.
The group said the number of activists participating in their demonstrations has dwindled during the pandemic, but they hope to build on record numbers in 2022.
In a video based on photos of the Suffragettes, Ghandi and Martin Luther King, XR spokesperson Nuala Gathercole Lam calls for action and says: “When millions of people come together to demand change, governments have no choice but to act.
This is what we need now. Let’s do what works – long-term, disruptive, nonviolent civil resistance.
XR pledges its “biggest climate action” in April of next year. Pictured: Protester Diana Warner sticks her hand on a train as protesters block traffic at Canary Wharf Station on April 25, 2019.
Citing research conducted at Harvard University, XR says that movements that have achieved “active participation” of at least 3.5 percent of the population “never fail to produce significant social and political change.”
The group says 3.5 per cent of the UK population is equal to 2.3 million people and has set itself a target to recruit these people for its campaign in 2022.
XR believes that if they achieve this goal, their protests in April next year will be the “largest act of civil resistance in UK history” as it issued an appeal for people to join its cause.
Group spokesperson Nuala Gatherkul Lam added: “While the 2019 collective engagement campaigns have played an important role in driving recognition of the climate and environmental crisis, XR’s actions have yet to lead to the real action by the government needed to reduce emissions. and restore biodiversity.
That is why in 2022 we will increase our numbers and develop designs for civil resistance campaigns, the first of which will take place in April 2022.
Our bottling program will continue to build numbers through the year with the goal of meeting our three XR demands.
“The failure of COP 26, and indeed the COP process in general, is devastating but not surprising – it is becoming clearer than ever now that it is up to all of us.”
As of Monday 15 April 2019, Extinction Rebellion organized several disruptive demonstrations in London targeting popular areas including Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge.
In addition to disrupting road travelers, activists have caused severe delays in the transportation network by attaching themselves to trains.
During their October campaign, protesters in an “Extinction Rebellion” sprayed fake blood on the Treasury