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Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Amazon Rugeley

Amazon's massive warehouse in Staffordshire has been blockaded by climate change protesters on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Extinction Rebellion protesters have targeted a number of Amazon sites, including Rugeley

The entrance to the Rugeley fulfilment centre was blocked with a scaffold tower erected by Extinction Rebellion, while protestors lay on the ground in sleeping bags alongside a banner saying "Make Amazon pay".

The blockade was part of coordinated international action by Extinction Rebellion targetting Amazon fulfilment centres across the country, as well as in the United States, Germany and Netherlands in protest at the company's business practices.

It came on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year as retailers provided products at reduced prices ahead of the festive season.

The protests started early on Friday morning

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: "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'.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion block the entrance to the Amazon fulfilment centre in Coventry

"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.

"Amazon continues to lobby the US government to fight against climate legislation while telling the public they are committed to green initiatives.

"They are committing the very definition of greenwash."

The blockade could be seen outside of the fulfilment centre in Rugeley. Photo: Extinction Rebellion Midlands

The group said it was also targeting Amazon sites in Coventry, Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury and Milton Keynes.

A spokesman for Amazon 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.

An activist from Extinction Rebellion, wearing a giant Jeff Bezos head, blocks the entrance to the Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury

"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."

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