Extinction Rebellion Activists Blockade Amazon Warehouse During Holiday Season

Kent, WA – During the busiest shopping season of the year, members of the Seattle chapter of Extinction Rebellion blockaded the entrance to an Amazon fulfillment center near Seattle to protest the company’s pollution of the climate and the destructive impact this has on communities. Five activists were locked down along with a crowd of supporters, citing the company’s failure to meet the critical environmental benchmarks set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as the greater scientific community. The group demanded Amazon:

  1. Stop using misleading reporting techniques that understate the environmental impact and expand environmental reporting to include the footprint of third-party vendors and all delivery services, not just those directly owned by Amazon.
  2. Align the Climate Pledge with scientific imperatives for significant emissions reductions by 2025.
  3. Commit to a detailed, actionable plan for zero emissions from shipping by 2030 with measurable milestones and independent audits.
  4. Stop union busting and involve workers in decision-making processes, especially those related to sustainability.

These demands were circulated in a public petition to hold Amazon accountable for its environmental impact and to demand immediate action in-line with the latest scientific consensus: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/amazon-stop-greenwashing/

Black Friday, a symbol of consumerism, sees billions in online spending, with Amazon accounting for a significant portion. However, the environmental cost of this consumption is staggering. Amazon’s 2022 carbon emissions totaled 71.27 million metric tons, marking an 18% rise from 2020 and a 40% surge since 2019, the year Amazon unveiled the Climate Pledge. This alarming trend is in stark contrast to the global imperative to halve emissions by 2030.

“As a long time educator and a parent, it is my duty to take action to protect young people’s futures. We know large corporations are to blame for threatening the ecosystems that sustain human life, and they will only change when we the people stand up and demand it,” says Vanessa Meraki, a Seattle Public Schools educator.

“Corporate entities like Amazon will kill us of they don’t start enacting policies that lower emissions now. “ says Andrea O’Ferrall, an organizer with Extinction Rebellion Seattle. “I follow climate news and know how dire our situation is: tipping points have taken us to the brink and Amazon will push us over the edge.  Lives around the world are at risk because of this greenwashing.”

“The global temperature just surpassed +2degC above pre-industrial levels last month, a key tipping point towards climate catastrophe, while Amazon stalls on delivering meaningful climate action,” says William Livernois, an organizer with Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion. “It’s terrifying to live in a world where a single corporation that controls a large fraction of our commerce is not being held accountable for it’s impact: this is why we stand in resistance today.”

The blockade started at 10AM at the front entrance to the BFI4 fulfillment center and lasted for four hours. Participants are members of the community including scientists, teachers, and community leaders. The demands are in alignment with those of other groups including Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, Athena for All, Stand.earth, Make Amazon Pay, and ShipItZero.org.

Photos and Videos folder (will be updated as the action is happening): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZoOEmIumaNh-fLUfUR_Zx1vH3WgVmiWR?usp=drive_link

Extinction Rebellion Seattle is an autonomous chapter of the international grassroots movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), which started in London in 2018. The purpose of XR is to tell the truth about how dire the ecological and climate crisis is and spark immediate action in order to prevent complete climate and ecological collapse. We aim to mobilize people around the world to utilize nonviolent direct action to demand that governments take radical action to avert societal collapse caused by widespread climate and ecological disaster, and to protect front-line communities, biodiversity, and the natural world. Learn more at: xrseattle.org

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