Black Friday: Extinction Rebellion blockade 13 Amazon sites across the UK

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Extinction Rebellion were carrying out the Black Friday protests at Amazon fulfillment centres across the UK

Extinction Rebellion blockaded Amazon fulfillment centres across the UK as part of Black Friday protests.

Activists are carrying out the protests at 13 sites across the country, and the group says they intend to stay in place for 48 hours.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

From early on Friday morning, the group blocked a total of 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

The group is blocking the entrances using bamboo structures, lock-ons, and banners.

Where are the blockades?

The UK blockades were taking place at the following sites:

  • Doncaster
  • Darlington,
  • Newcastle,
  • Manchester
  • Peterborough
  • Derby
  • Coventry
  • Rugeley
  • Dartford
  • Bristol
  • Tilbury
  • Milton Keynes
  • Dunfermline
Protesters outside one of the sitesProtesters outside one of the sites
Protesters outside one of the sites | Extinction Rebellion

What has Extinction Rebellion said?

Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) Black Friday demonstration, with about 20 activists, started at 4am at the distribution centre in Dunfermline, Fife.

XR’s spokesperson at the Dunfermline blockade, Meg Paton-Jones, said: “The police have one van on site and they are watching us.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We started here at about 4am but are not blocking the employees’ car park so the night shift can leave.

“We have good vibes and music.”

An XR spokesperson added: “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 blockade is part of an international action by XR targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, aimed at highlighting Amazon’s ‘crimes’.

“This is happening in solidarity with activists and workers from the global Make Amazon Pay campaign, demanding better working conditions, clear environmental commitments, and for Amazon to pay their fair share of tax.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Protester Eleanor Harris, from Glasgow, said: “It is essential we move to a new model of economics that prioritises wellbeing and sustainability over profit.”

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. “

A protester at one of the Amazon sitesA protester at one of the Amazon sites
A protester at one of the Amazon sites | @alexstreetphoto/Extinction Rebellion

Have the police been called out?

At the Dartford site, around 20 activists set up the blockade on a road at just before 5am.

Kent Police said: “Those present are situated in front of two entrances where some are locked on to concrete and wooden structures.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Officers are in attendance and are working to end the protest whilst liaising with partner agencies, and the managers at the business, to minimise traffic disruption in the area.”

Essex Police warned drivers of delays saying they expected the “disruption” to last into the morning’s rush hour.

The force tweeted: “We’re dealing with a protest outside an Amazon warehouse in Windrush Road, #Tilbury and engaging with people at the scene to ensure it remains safe. However, we expect the disruption to run into the morning rush hours and we’re asking motorists to take some delays into account.”

Officers from West Midlands Police were at the scene of the Coventry blockade from 4am and said they have been “managing traffic”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of a protest taking place on Amazon Way, Dunfermline, on Friday, 26 November.

“Officers are currently in attendance and engaging with the protestors.”

What has Amazon said?

Amazon said it is working to minimise any potential disruption to customers.

A spokesman said: “At Amazon, we take our responsibilities very seriously.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“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 £32 billion 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 £1.55 billion in 2020.”

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.