Extinction Rebellion activists blockade 13 Amazon sites on Black Friday

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Watch: Extinction Rebellion block roads outside Amazon warehouse to highlight Black Friday impact

Amazon’s largest UK warehouse was blockaded by Extinction Rebellion as climate activists targeted the online giant on Black Friday.

Extinction Rebellion activists blockaded the company's distribution centre in Dunfermline, Fife, as well as sites in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury and Milton Keynes.

At the Dunfermline site, around 20 protesters with "lock-ons" and placards stopped lorries entering the Scottish site and some from leaving from 4am.

The protests were timed to coincide with Black Friday, which forecasters predicted would be the busiest shopping day on record, with sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

A man sits on a fake rocket as Extinction Rebellion activists block an entrance to an Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Extinction Rebellion activists blocked Amazon distribution centres on Friday, including a fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex. (Reuters)
Extinction Rebellion activists block an entrance to an Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Extinction Rebellion said it was targeting Amazon distribution centres across the country. (REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)
A person wearing a head mask depicting Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos sits on a fake rocket as Extinction Rebellion activists block an entrance to an Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The group blockaded Amazon sites across the country on Black Friday. (Reuters)

XR’s spokesperson at the Dunfermline blockade, Meg Paton-Jones, said: "The police have one van on site and they are watching us.

"We started here at about 4am but are not blocking the employees’ car park so the night shift can leave. We have good vibes and music."

Read more: Black Friday and Christmas to decide fate of one in five UK small businesses

An XR spokesperson added: "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.

"The blockade is part of an international action by XR targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, aimed at highlighting Amazon’s ‘crimes’.

An Extinction Rebellion activist stands on an effigy during a protest outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine
Activists also protested outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester. (Reuters)
An Extinction Rebellion activist is detained by a police officer during a protest outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine
Police were called to a protest at the centre in Altrincham on Friday. (Reuters)
Extinction Rebellion activist protest outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine
Extinction Rebellion has said it wants to highlight Amazon's 'crimes'. (Reuters)
Workers of Amazon enter an Amazon fulfilment centre, as Extinction Rebellion activists protest outside an entrance, in Tilbury, Essex, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The action was part of a protests across the US as well as in Europe. (Reuters)

The spokesperson added: "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.

"Amazon continues to lobby the US government to fight against climate legislation while telling the public they are committed to green initiatives.

"They are committing the very definition of greenwash."

Police officers stand next to a sign, as Extinction Rebellion activists block an entrance to an Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Police were called to some of the sites where Extinction Rebellion staged blockades. (Reuters)

Protester Eleanor Harris, from Glasgow, said: “It is essential we move to a new model of economics that prioritises wellbeing and sustainability over profit.

“The era of exploitative throw-away capitalism will soon be over, either by changing to meet the challenges we now face or by the destruction of our global habitats and societies."

Maciej Walczuk, a 19-year-old student, said: "We have to recognise that the consumption in the global north is largely based upon the exploitation of the working class and the global south, while companies like Amazon make massive profits and contribute to worsening the climate and ecological crisis.

"We need a new system that respects people and the planet, instead of blindly chasing profit."

Watch: What is greenwashing?

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