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Amazon UK protests: 31 arrested thus Far

Amazon protests 31 arrested as Extinction Rebellion targets retailer
More than 30 people have been arrested after climate change activists blocked UK Amazon warehouses o... More than 30 people have been arrested after climate change activists blocked UK Amazon warehouses on Black Friday, the retailer's busiest day of the year./Source Reuters
Amazon protests 31 arrested as Extinction Rebellion targets retailer
More than 30 people have been arrested after climate change activists blocked UK Amazon warehouses o... More than 30 people have been arrested after climate change activists blocked UK Amazon warehouses on Black Friday, the retailer's busiest day of the year./Source Reuters

More than 30 people have been arrested after climate change activists blocked UK Amazon warehouses on Black Friday, the retailer’s busiest day of the year.

Extinction Rebellion targeted 13 UK sites, including the retail giant’s largest distribution center in Dunfermline, Fife.

It said it was to draw attention to the alleged exploitation of Amazon workers and wasteful business practices.

Amazon said it took its “responsibilities very seriously.”The campaign group said blocked multiple entrances using bamboo structures, lock-on, and banners and had planned to stay for at least 48 hours.

However, a number of the blockades were cleared by mid-afternoon. The demonstrations started at 04:00 GMT at the Dunfermline warehouse, where about 20 activists stopped lorries entering the site and some from leaving.
The group also targeted sites in Doncaster; Darlington; Gateshead; Altrincham, Greater Manchester; Peterborough; East Midlands Airport, Leicestershire; Coventry; Rugeley, Staffordshire; Dartford, Kent; Bristol; Tilbury, Essex; and at Ridgmont, close to junction 13 of the M1 in Bedfordshire.

A spokesman 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.”Among those affected by the blockade was haulage firm J R Dixon, based in Workington, Cumbria, which said one of its drivers could not leave the depot in Tilbury.

Phil Clarke, from the firm, said it meant the driver might not be able to get to Warrington for deliveries or get home for the weekend.

“The knock-on effect of these protests is harming businesses and people’s private lives,” he said. Protesters at Rugeley said it was “non-violent action,” and there were about eight people on a bamboo structure, two on top and six on the concrete structure at the bottom.

Alice Martin, part of the group, said they wanted to highlight Amazon’s use of “loopholes” to avoid tax and its destruction of unsold products, including electronic items.

“We also have witnesses and people working inside that have been reporting workers being exploited, being on difficult shifts for long hours with low wages, so that is all the things we want to highlight today,” she said. Nathan McGovern, 22, at the blockade in Coventry, said he and fellow protesters were “disrupting and stopping any lorries from exiting and entering this facility.”

“We are doing this because of Amazon’s complicity and contribution to the climate crisis,” he said.

He said they were hoping to stay for 48 hours, but it was up to individuals if they wanted to stay for that entire time.

In Darlington, an unnamed protester said they were aware they had “upset quite a few people today,” but they had lobbied their MPs and had “tried using usual avenues and nothing is changing.”

Extinction Rebellion said the blockade was part of an international action targeting Amazon fulfillment centers in the US, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The group’s spokeswoman 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 04:00 GMT but are not blocking the employees’ car park so the night shift can leave.

“We have good vibes and music.”


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