Extinction Rebellion blockade Dartford Amazon site in protest against Black Friday

Extinction Rebellion protestors at an Amazon centre in Dartford Credit: Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion has blockaded an Amazon centre in Dartford in Kent.

It's one of 13 sites across the UK being targeted in protest against Black Friday.

Campaigners say they hope to highlight the company's "exploitation of its workers and environmentally destructive and wasteful business practices".

Amazon says they hope to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

  • Watch: Extinction Rebellion campaigners blockade an Amazon centre in Dartford

The group is blocking the entrances using bamboo structures and are holding banners with the words 'Amazon Crime' and 'Infinite growth, finite planet' on them.

The protestors say they intend to stay at the site for at least 48 hours.

Other Amazon sites being blockaded this morning include Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Bristol, Tilbury, Milton Keynes and Dunfermline.

The activists say these sites account for just over 50% of Amazon deliveries in the UK. 

Clarissa Carlyon, who is taking part in the action, said: “I have joined this action because we must address the toxic consumerism that is driving the ecological crisis, and trapping us in business as usual. If we don’t talk about what consumerism is doing to our planet and our society then we will not address the planetary emergency that’s happening now. 

“Amazon is a prime example of the wider issues we face. It exploits people who work for it, forcing them into unstable working conditions. It avoids paying tax and makes its executives rich, while destroying the planet for profit, all the while lobbying governments to protect them rather than the natural world. It’s a complete mess and if we’re not talking about it then we’re not going to solve our multiple, interconnected crises. 

“Jeff Bezos may think he can escape climate and ecological disaster here on earth by escaping to space, but the rest of us, who are not billionaires, need governments to act to protect us and address the economic system that’s driving this insane wealth inequality, and therefore all of us off a cliff. We are in the greatest crisis we’ll ever face. All companies need to be in service to life now, not actively working to destroy it.“

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.”