Climate activists say they blockaded 15 Amazon sites in 3 countries on Black Friday, using huge bamboo structures to prevent access for trucks
Extinction Rebellionblockaded 15 Amazonfacilities in Europe on Friday, the activist group said.
- The group said Amazon's "environmentally destructive business practices" were behind the
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According to a press release issued by the group, the majority of the blockades took place in the UK, with the group targeting 13 warehouses or "fulfilment centers."
The Daily Telegraph reported that Amazon's largest UK warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland was blockaded at 4 a.m. local time by roughly 20 activists. Per The Telegraph, protesters prevented lorries from entering and leaving the site.
Photographs showed one protester outside Amazon's warehouse in the southeast England town of Tilbury wearing a big, fake head resembling Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, straddling a model rocket — evoking the billionaire's flight to space in July.
Police in Manchester said a protest in the Altrincham area of the city was preventing access to a warehouse, while West Midlands Police said officers were called to the Amazon depot in the city of Coventry, following reports that activists had blocked access to the site, the BBC reported.
Photographs also showed protesters erecting large structures out of bamboo to block access to the sites.
In its press release, Extinction Rebellion said it intends to keep its blockades up for at least 48 hours.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion told Insider at 10:20 a.m. local time that all 13 UK sites were blocked, preventing access to logistics vehicles.
When asked by Insider whether the blockades had impacted its operations, an Amazon spokesperson said: "We have a large network of sites across the UK and are working to minimise any potential disruption to customers."
Amazon has 21 fulfilment centers in the UK according to its website.
"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 said in its release.
Citing figures from Amazon's 2020 sustainability report, Extinction Rebellion said the company produces more carbon emissions than a country the size of Denmark.
An Amazon spokesperson told Insider on Friday: "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 £32 billion [$43 billion] 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 £1.55 billion [$2.1 billion] in 2020," they added.
Bezos announced in 2019 that Amazon aims to become carbon neutral by 2040. In January 2020 over 350 Amazon employees signed an open letter criticising the company's climate change policies — taking issue with both its 2040 deadline and its relationship with the oil and gas industry.
Extinction Rebellion isn't the only group protesting Amazon on Black Friday. Workers and activists forming a coalition of 70 trade unions and organizations including Greenpeace are expected to take action on Friday under the mantra "Make Amazon Pay."
For Amazon, Black Friday marks one of the busiest shopping days of the year and the beginning of its extremely busy holiday season, known internally as "peak."
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