Extinction Rebellion activists have said they are blockading Amazon depots in parts of the UK in a protest at the environmental damage it is claimed that Black Friday is causing
Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists have blocked Amazon depots in Black Friday protests causing driver delays in parts of the UK.
It tweeted that it is blockading a fulfilment centre in Dartford, Kent, and 13 sites across the UK.
The group posted a video of the blockade at Dartford where six protesters were filmed holding up a banner saying: “Black Friday exploits people and planet.”
There were similar scenes around the country at other Amazon depots.
XR Northampton tweeted: “Amazon Milton Keynes blocked by Bedford and Northants rebels in solidarity with #MakeAmazonPay strikers and Climate Activists everywhere. #MakeAmazonPay #AmazonCrime. #ExtinctionRebellion.”
Police are tackling protests at an Amazon warehouse in Tilbury, Essex, where disruption is expected to continue over the coming hours.
Essex Police tweeted: “We’re dealing with a protest outside an Amazon warehouse in Windrush Road, #Tilbury and engaging with people at the scene to ensure it remains safe.
“However, we expect the disruption to run into the morning rush hours and we’re asking motorists to take some delays into account.”
The protest group claims it has targeted Amazon as it holds it “responsible” for environmental damage.
The aim of the protest is to disrupt Amazon’s business on what is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in order to force the global giant into changing its “highly climate-destructive corporate practices”.
XR South East UK tweeted: “ExtinctionRebellion blockade #AMAZON fulfilment centres across the UK and Europe on #BlackFriday holding them responsible for the damage they do to #PeopleAndPlanet. #InfiniteGrowthFinitePlanet.”
Protesters arrived at a Amazon distribution centre near Bristol at 4am and have “locked on” to bamboo towers and scaffolding structures, completely blocking two access roads to the site.
The protests have had a backlash on social media with people critical of the disruption.
One person tweeted: “Agree with saving the climate…but you need public support to get the government to care.
“Blocking roads just annoys folk and loses you the good will from the public (especially the working ones whos[e] taxes pay your benefits).”
Another wrote: “That it guys, that’ll get the public onside I’m sure. Nothing gets public support like stopping us getting to and from work….”
Amazon’s own figures from 2020 reveal that the corporation’s carbon emissions rose by 19% year-over-year in spite of the global shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, reported BristolLive.
Amazon’s operations emitted the equivalent of 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020, compared to 51.17 million metric tons in 2019.
The corporation pledged in 2019 to become net-zero by 2040, but XR activists say that there is “no evidence for how that will be achieved and the pledge does not include Amazon’s supply chain”.