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Attac movement activists hold signs during an anti-Black Friday action in front of the Amazon France headquarters in Clichy, north of Paris, early on November 29, 2019. (Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images)

Black Friday Protests Across Europe Demand Amazon 'Start Treating Workers Like Humans—Not Robots'

"Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances."

Jake Johnson

Labor rights activists and climate campaigners across Europe used the occasion of Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, to call attention to and protest Amazon's "appalling" working conditions, paltry benefits, and destructive environmental practices.

"Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances," said Mick Rix, national officer with the GMB Union, which organized demonstrations at Amazon warehouses across the United Kingdom on Friday.

"Amazon has spent a fortune on fluffy adverts saying what a great place it is to work," Rix added. "Why not spend the money making their warehouses less dangerous places to work? Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people—not robots."

GMB said Amazon employees at locations throughout the U.K. have reported being denied restroom breaks, penalized for taking sick days, and forced to work at a dangerous pace to meet the retail behemoth's productivity goals.

"GMB members report targets being so horrific they have to use plastic bottles to urinate in instead of going to the toilet, and pregnant women have been forced to stand for hours on end," the union said in a statement.

In France, demonstrators held sit-ins at Amazon's Clichy headquarters to condemn the retail giant's contributions to the climate crisis.

"We criticize Amazon for having a destructive policy for the planet, for social conditions, and Black Friday allows this company to achieve exponential revenue," said activist Sandy Olivar Calvo.

At an Amazon distribution center near Lyon, France, police assaulted and forcibly removed demonstrators who staged a sit-in to condemn the corporation's climate practices:


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Poll Shows Majority Oppose Supreme Court's Attack on Fundamental Rights

Fifty-six of respondents said they're now concerned the court will attack marriage equality and the right to obtain contraception.

Julia Conley ·


Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

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