As Amazon is an international corporation, and the struggles against the infiltration of our personal lives, cities and societies by Big-Tech threatens people all over the world, our local coordination against the Amazon-Tower in Berlin has gotten in touch with the NY-based community-organization„New York Communities for Change“. This group was part of the protest against HQ2 in New York (reminder: Amazon wanted to establish its second headquarters in NY, butabandoned the plan after massive resistance from organised residents).
Many groups that were active against HQ2 are still in contact with each other and continue to campaign against Amazon. During last year’s peak season, Amazon warehouse workers joined the local coalition inprotesting at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse and on Cyber Monday there was ademo to Jeff Bezos multimillion-dollar penthouse in Manhattan. Bezos – richest man in the world – is the main target for protest mobilizing the discourse of taxation of the super-rich in NY. On february 14th there will be a manifestation on front of the new offices of Amazon in western Manhattan (in a “artificial neighborhood“ called Hudson Yards, that resembles our own “Mediaspree“). The groups are being supported locally by different progressive politicians that had spoken out against HQ2.
In the US, Amazon has been rapidly expanding its logistics operations into cities with the promise of shorter delivery times. In NYC, Amazon already promises 1-2 hour delivery on common products and same day delivery for many items. In NYC proper, there are already 5 planned or already built last mile delivery stations along with a fulfillment center. The delivery stations have around 200 workers each with the fulfillment center varying from 2500-4000 depending on the time of year. This presents interesting opportunities in cities around the world as Amazon continues its urban expansion.
Both the campaign against HQ2 and the current actions are part of a bigger strategy against Amazon in the US. This is being unfolded by the nationwide network of local and national organizations called “Athena“, to which 40+ such organizations across the country belong.
Its about taking on Amazon’s monopolistic corporate concentration of power and fighting them on every level from – in the neighborhoods / at the workplaces, concerning the corporate policy of setting up offices in cities, tax-evasion/public resource extraction, etc. – and by that changing the public perception of Amazon (the most popular company in the US!). To that end, Amazon is being focused as the main corporate target in many different protests: Gentrification, tax-evasion, workers-conditions in warehouses and automation, Tech Workers-organizing against Amazons contribution to climate-colapse (“Amazon Employees for Climate justice“), Amazon-cloud infrastructure for US-Deportation organisation ICE, Connection of RING-products with police-databases (ppl call this a “privatised surveilance-state“). Part of the strategy is also monitoring the corporations influence on US tax- and antitrust-legislation. In the long run it aims to build up power from below on a grand scale.
In the US, groups in Amazon-key-locations such as NY, LA and Chicago are getting connected. There are also connections between community-organizations and workers in Amazon-warehouses.