Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested over Black Friday Amazon blockade

26 November 2021, 16:42 | Updated: 26 November 2021, 16:48

At least 13 protestors have been arrested
At least 13 protesters have been arrested. Picture: LBC

By Megan Hinton

Extinction Rebellions protesters have been arrested after blockading a number of Amazon warehouses across the country during the Black Friday.

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) said its Black Friday demonstration took place at sites in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury, Milton Keynes and Dunfermline.

Activists arrived in the early hours of Friday to set up bamboo structures and "lock-ons", and held banners urging Amazon to cut its emissions.

Some people could also be seen wearing masks of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and setting up tents on the road as police officers began to move in.

At least 13 people have been arrested in three of the locations, police forces have confirmed.

The group, which is also drawing attention to alleged exploitation of Amazon workers, said it planned to remain at the scene for at least 48 hours.

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In Coventry, 22-year-old student Nathan McGovern told LBC they were there to demand Amazon "confront their crimes" against the environment.

"We are blocking the lorries, the distribution lorries, from entering and exiting this facility," he said.

"We are demanding that Amazon confront their crimes against the planet and just stop with their destructive business model that's introducing infinite growth on a finite planet."

He said Amazon produced the same amount of CO2 as a mid-sized country, and claimed their emissions increase by between 15 and 19 per cent each year.

"They need to address the amount of pollution they are causing to the Earth's atmosphere as well as exploiting workers and the climate," he said.

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He explained why Black Friday was chosen, saying: "Today is one of Amazon's busiest days of the year, it's a day where they're projected to make millions of pounds, much of that going to their largest shareholder Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men on the planet."

Amazon said it is working to minimise any potential disruption to customers.

A spokesman said: "At Amazon, we take our responsibilities very seriously.

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"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 £32 billion 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 £1.55 billion in 2020."