Black Friday demo: Extinction Rebellion blockade at Amazon centre in Dunfermline

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Climate activists have staged a blockade of Amazon’s giant Fife depot.

Extinction Rebellion said it wanted to disrupt the company’s business on Black Friday - the busiest day of the year at its fulfilment centre off the M90.

It said the action was designed “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.”

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Around 20 activists arrived around 4:00am and blocked entrances using lock-ons, and banners with the words ‘Make Amazon pay’ and ‘climate justice = workers’ justice”

Extinction Rebellion activists at the Amazon centre in DunfermlineExtinction Rebellion activists at the Amazon centre in Dunfermline
Extinction Rebellion activists at the Amazon centre in Dunfermline
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The blockade formed part of an international action by Extinction Rebellion targeting 15 Amazon fulfillment centers in the UK, US, Germany, and the Netherlands.

It was in solidarity with activists and workers from the global 'Make Amazon Pay' campaign, demanding better working conditions, clear environmental commitments, and for the company to pay its fair share of tax.

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

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Police patrol at Extinction Rebellion demo at Amazon fulfilment centre in DunfermlinePolice patrol at Extinction Rebellion demo at Amazon fulfilment centre in Dunfermline
Police patrol at Extinction Rebellion demo at Amazon fulfilment centre in Dunfermline

"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, 19-year-old student said “ We have to recognize 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"

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: “Not only does Amazon's business emit more carbon emissions than a country the size of Denmark, but it is actively helping fossil fuel companies such as Shell, Exxon, and BP to drill for more oil via its Amazon Web Services.

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“Amazon continues to lobby the US Government to fight against climate legislation while telling the public they are committed to green initiatives. It is committing the very definition of greenwash.”

Amazon said the company was working with police to ensure the safety of its employees – and protestors.

A spokesman said: “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.

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"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.”

“We have a large network of sites across the UK and are working to minimise any potential disruption to customers.

“Together with the police, we are working on site to ensure the safety of our employees and those protesting.”

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