Amazon’s warehouse at Rugeley is being blockaded by climate activists today as part of an international campaign targeting the mega-retailer. Extinction Rebellion is supporting the work of a global coalition of charities, campaigning groups, unions and more, in a protest called “Make Amazon Pay”
Activists from all over the Midlands moved onto the site at 4am this morning, and have people “locked-on” to concrete blocks below others suspended by ropes within bamboo towers blocking access for lorries to the sites but not access for the workers themselves.
Thirteen Amazon “fulfillment centres” around the UK, and other centres in Germany are being roadblocked, with the aim of highlighting their business practices. Extinction Rebellion says Amazon is responsible for a long list of widely recognised “crimes” – from tax avoidance to the exploitation of workers, to rampant wastefulness and ecological destruction. Activists say that Amazon is becoming a monopoly which already controls 15% of global online retail sales and 34% of the world’s cloud-computing capacity.
One of the protesters “locked on” at Amazon is 20 year old Chris, who used to work for the company. “Working at Amazon gave me first hand experience of the poor treatment of its workers. With new warehouses popping up every month, taking action against Amazon has become an absolute necessity. Amazon’s business model is based on manipulating overconsumption. It’s rate of growth is phenomenal but catastrophic at a time of imminent ecological collapse. As Amazon’s empire grows, so does its exploitation. Workers live in fear of organising against this. The union busting tactics of Amazon needs to come to an end and it’s time the workers were given a proper voice in how their company is run.”