Black Friday 2021: Extinction Rebellion blockades South Yorkshire Amazon warehouse in protest

An Amazon warehouse in Doncaster has been blocked by climate activists on its busiest day of the year, Black Friday.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 1:19 pm

Extinction Rebellion activists have blocked the entrances to the retail giant’s Balby Carr Bank ‘fulfilment centre’ using bamboo structures, lock-ons, and banners with the words 'people over profit' and 'infinate gworth, finite planet' on them. They have said 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 to highlight Amazon's ‘crimes’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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.

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.

Extinction Rebellion blockades South Yorkshire Amazon warehouse on Black Friday

"Jeff Bezos has made his money by exploiting workers and destroying local businesses. He may think he can escape the climate and ecological disaster he is actively accelerating by fleeing to space, but the rest of us, who are not billionaires, need governments to act to protect us and address the genocidal economic system that's driving us off a cliff."

Extinction Rebellion says that Amazon, one of the world's largest companies, is responsible for a long list of widely recognised ‘crimes’ - from tax avoidance to the exploitation of workers, to rampant wastefulness and ecological destruction - while making its founder and largest shareholder Jeff Bezos one of the richest men on earth.

The group says the action aims to expose Amazon's crimes and 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.

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.”