Extinction Rebellion targets Doncaster Amazon warehouse in Black Friday blockade
Amazon's fulfilment centre at Balby Carr Bank, Doncaster, is being blocked by climate activists who are disrupting the company's business on its busiest day of the year.
The group is blocking entrances to the Doncaster warehouse using bamboo structures, lock-ons, and banners reading: ‘people over profit’ and ‘infinite growth, finite planet’.
Activists say they intend to stay in position for at least 48 hours.
The blockade is part of an international action by Extinction Rebellion targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands.
The group is accusing Amazon of a long list of “crimes,” from tax avoidance and exploitation of workers, to rampant wastefulness and ecological destruction.
Extinction Rebellion said in a statement:
“This action is targeting Amazon because it exemplifies how the current economic system unsustainably exploits workers and the planet in the pursuit of endless growth,”
"This is happening in solidarity with activists and workers from the global 'Make Amazon Pay' campaign, demanding better working conditions, clear environmental commitments and for Amazon to pay their fair share of tax.”
The group added that the action aims to expose the wastefulness of Black Friday while holding it up as an example of a wider economic system designed to keep us hooked on buying things we don't need, at a price the planet cannot afford. Merry, who is blockading the site, said:
"I am a young person, and I have joined this action because we must address the economic system that is driving the ecological crisis and trapping us in business as usual. If we don't address the endless drive for economic growth and profit and what it does to our planet and our society, we will not stop the current planetary emergency.
"Amazon is a prime example of the wider issues we face, it exploits people who work for it, forcing them into unsafe working conditions, it avoids paying tax and makes its executives rich while destroying the planet for profit. All the while lobbying governments to protect them rather than the natural world. It's a complete mess and if we're not talking about it then we're not going to solve our multiple, interconnected crises.”
An Amazon spokesperson said: “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 £32bn 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 £1.55bn in 2020.”
Black Fridays sees retailers slash prices with shoppers battling to get the best deals on Christmas presents.
Online shopping today could release up to 386,243 tonnes of carbon which would have the same impact as 215,778 return flights between London and Sydney, research claims.