Extinction Rebellion targets Amazon in Black Friday blockade near Milton Keynes

Protesters stage demonstration outside depot to disrupt deliveries on Black Friday (November 26)

By Olga Norford
Friday, 26th November 2021, 10:31 am
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 3:00 pm

Amazon’s fulfilment centre near Milton Keynes is being blocked by climate activists who are disrupting the global retail giant's business on Black Friday - its busiest day of the year.

The aim of protesters carrying “lock-ons” and placards with the words ‘AMAZON CRIME’ and ‘MAKE AMAZON PAY’ is stopping lorries entering and leaving the site.They intend to stay 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 aimed at highlighting Amazon’s “crimes”.

Image shows Extinction Rebellion campaigners at an Amazon depot this morning

The Black Friday demonstration, with about 20 activists, started at 4am at a distribution centre in Dunfermline.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: “The action is intended to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices, disregard for workers’ rights in the name of company profits, as well as the wastefulness of Black Friday."

Dave, a handyman from Northamptonshire said: “Amazon avoids paying its fair share of tax and causes huge environmental damage through all the pollution it generates.

"We all need to boycott Amazon before it ruins our workforce, our economy and our planet. There are many great ethical alternatives to Amazon, including charities and local small businesses - even bookshops.”

The action coincides with a global day of action against Amazon in over 20 countries by the Make Amazon Pay Coalition which has issued a call to action asking workers and activists to participate in strikes, protests and actions to Make Amazon Pay.

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.”