Activists from Extinction Rebellion have said they are blockading Amazon depots in parts of the UK, including Darlington, in a protest of the company's "crimes" and the environmental damage it is claimed that Black Friday is causing.

Amazon's fulfiliment centre at Gateshead, Newcastle and in Darlington are being blocked by the climate activites who are looking to disrupt the company's business on its busiest day of the year.

The Northern Echo:

The environmental activists say the action is targeting amazon because it "exemplifies how the current econmoic system unsustainably exploits workers and the planet in the pursuit of endless growth."

In a statement online, the group said: "From 5am this morning, Extinction Rebellion has blocked a total of 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands on Black Friday, the major global discount day.

The Northern Echo:

"In the UK, people from all across the country are taking part, with 13 blockades in Doncaster, Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester, Peterborough, Derby, Coventry, Rugeley, Dartford, Bristol, Tilbury, Milton Keynes and Dunfermline.

"These sites account for just over 50% of Amazon deliveries in the UK."

They added: "The action is taking place on Black Friday in order to confront the exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices of one of the world’s largest companies."

The group are using bamboo structures, lock-ons, and banners with the words "Amazon crime" and Infite growth, finite planet," on them.

Extinction rebellion say they intend to stay for at least 48 hours.

Chris, a former Amazon employee from Newcastle, said: "Working at Amazon gave me first hand experience of the poor treatment of its workers.

"With new warehouses popping up every month, taking action against Amazon has become an absolute necessity.

"We can no longer live under a system based on manipulated overconsumption coupled with continued, destructive economic growth at the cost of people and planet.
Amazon’s entire business model is based on growth.

"As it’s empire grows, so does its emissions, yet workers live fear of organising against this.

The Northern Echo:

"The union busting tactics of Amazon need to come to an end and it’s time the workers of Amazon were given a proper voice in how their company is run.”

The blockade is part of an international action by Extinction Rebellion targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands.

The activist group say all the demonstrations are aimed at highlighting Amazon's "crimes."

Extinction Rebellion say that Amazon is responsible for a long list of widely recognised "crimes", from alleged tax avoidance too the exploitation of workers and, according to the activist group, rampant wastefulness and ecological destruction.

A spokesperson 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.

"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.”