Amazon depot in Avonmouth to be blocked for 48 hours by Extinction Rebellion

By Emma Flanagan

The Black Friday blockade outside Amazon's Avonmouth depot by Extinction Rebellion is expected to last for 48 hours.

The demonstrators intend on disrupting as many of the e-commerce company's deliveries as possible on one of the biggest sales weekends of the year as customers take advantage of wide-ranging discounts ahead of Christmas.

Protesters arrived at the Amazon distribution centre near Bristol at 4am this morning (Friday, November 26) and have "locked on" to bamboo towers and scaffolding structures, completely blocking two access roads to the site.

Read next: Amazon protest causes traffic delays across Bristol

If XR are successful in staying for their full intended 48 hours it means Amazon's deliveries will not be able to fully resume until early on Sunday morning, which could have a big impact on orders made on one of the biggest shopping days of the year. They are hoping to stop half of Amazon's deliveries nationwide.

Amazon's own figures from 2020 reveal that the corporation's carbon emissions rose by 19 per cent year-over-year in spite of the global shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Protesters blockade Amazon's Avonmouth distribution centre on Black Friday (Bristol Live)

In 2020, 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.

Extinction Rebellion Rebel Elder activist, Gaie Delap, 74, from Montpelier, Bristol said: “International businesses of this scale cannot be allowed to be laws unto themselves. Their leaders bear the same responsibility as national governments.

“We all understand that this kind of super-consumption is unnecessary and destructive. And a growing number of businesses are distancing themselves from Black Friday, a day that will contribute to a surge in vehicle and carbon emissions.

Protesters blockade Amazon's Avonmouth distribution centre on Black Friday (Bristol Live)

“Two weeks after the end of COP26 it is truly shocking that Amazon is actively promoting Black Friday. This is a US ‘shopping holiday’ which Amazon itself introduced into the UK in 2010.

“We will not achieve the radical reductions in carbon emissions that COP26 clearly showed are necessary by just continuing ‘business as usual’.

“If we want to save the Amazon rainforest, we have to target mega-retailer Amazon.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “At Amazon, 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. 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.”

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