Protesters set up guillotine in front of Jeff Bezos home, criticising Amazon for 'mistreating employees'

'Amazon works directly with police to surveil us, stoking racist fears in the name of profit'

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 30 June 2020 17:33 BST
Chris Smalls explains conditions at Amazon warehouse in NY

A guillotine was erected outside Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's house in Washington DC on Sunday by protesters demanding the shopping giant be abolished.

The guillotine – an execution device famously used during the French Revolution against the country's ruling class, and subsequently against revolutionary leaders – is a frequently-used symbol by protesters criticising the mega-wealthy and politically powerful.

A sign underneath the device read "Support our poor communities. Not our wealthy men."'

Protesters with bullhorns led chants near Mr Bezos's front door while other demonstrators blocked the street by sitting in the road.

Mr Bezos's home in Washington DC – formerly the city's Textile Museum – is the largest mansion in the capital and is worth $23m.

His primary home is in Washington state.

A flyer advertising the march on Mr Bezos's mansion called for the end of his "abuse and profiteering" and to "abolish the police, the prisons, and Amazon".

"Amazon works directly with police to surveil us, stoking racist fears in the name of profit. Doubling down on their union-busting mistreatment of workers, Amazon fired and racially slandered labour organiser Chris Smalls. Join us to tell Jeff Bezos enough is enough," the flyer read.

Protesters have also criticised the company for allegedly mistreating its employees and for selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement.

Earlier this month, Mr Bezos said that he was "happy to lose" customers who did not support Black Lives Matter and – immediately following the incident – he wrote a memo stating that the company believes "Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with our Black employees, customers, and partners and are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear."

Despite those statements, the company has been criticised for firing Chris Smalls, a black labour organiser who supporters say was racially slandered by the company's representation. Amazon maintains Mr Smalls was fired for violating its social distancing guidelines.

Mr Bezos is considered the richest man on the planet and is worth $148.4bn.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in