Climate activists protest AmazonOn Friday, warehouses were opened in three European countries as part of a worldwide effort to force the online giant to change its business practices and improve working conditions.

Members of Extinction Rebellion targeted 13 Amazon fulfillment centers in the United Kingdom with the aim of disrupting 50% of the company’s deliveries on Black Friday, which marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. Similar protests were held in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

“The action is intended to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices, disregard for workers’ rights in the name of company profits, as well as the wastefulness of Black Friday,” the group said. It pledged that it would remain on the scene.

Police said that at least 30 individuals were detained in multiple locations across the United Kingdom, some of them on suspicion for aggravated theft or public nuisance.

Extinction Rebellion, along with dozens of activist groups around the U.S., are organizing Friday’s global strikes and protests against Amazon. They want the company to improve its working conditions and to commit to sustainable operations.

In the U.S., labor activists planned a small protest at Amazon’s fulfillment center on Staten Island, New York. Activists in the U.K. blocked the entrance to Amazon’s warehouse in Tilbury, just east of London, with an effigy of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sitting on top of a rocket.

At Amazon’s distribution center in Dunfermline, Scotland, about 20 Extinction Rebellion members strung banners across the entrance road that said “Make Amazon Pay” and locked themselves together, stopping trucks from entering and some from leaving.

Amazon did not directly address the protests in response to a request for comment, but said the company takes its 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,” the company said.

Extinction Rebellion activists blocked Bad Hersfeld’s Amazon logistics centre in central Germany by building a bamboo scaffold they could use to hang themselves from the sky. Authorities later removed them with the help of a fire department ladder truck, according to video posted on the group’s German Facebook page. The group staged a similar protest at an Amazon facility at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport.


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