Monday, September 28, 2020

In France, Le Black Friday turns into protests against Amazon

Nov 30. 2019
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Anne Pollak, James Regan ·

While shoppers in the U.S. line up to take advantage of Black Friday discounts, activists in France have staged sit-ins outside Inc.'s French headquarters and logistics center to denounce the occasion imported from America.

Dozens of anti-capitalist/environmental campaigners protested outside the headquarters in Clichy, northwest of Paris, and temporarily blocked two logistics depots in Northern France and Lyon, before being dislodged by the police. They blame Amazon as a symbol of the advent of Black Friday in France, a push for consumerism that they say contributes to hurting the planet.

European retailers have followed the U.S. tradition of making Black Friday -- the day after U.S. Thanksgiving -- the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The trend first reached the U.K. around the start of the decade when local chains responded to Amazon's post-Thanksgiving discounts, and then moved to continental Europe. French and German retailers have stepped up their participation over the past few years.

Julie Valette, a spokeswoman for Amazon France, said that calm had returned at the sites by lunchtime on Friday.

"There was no impact for our clients," she said.

Valette said Amazon has announced a Climate Pledge, aiming to meet a target of being net zero carbon 10 years early in 2040. The Seattle retail giant has also ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles and has committed to 100% renewable power by 2030, she said.

Videos circulated on Twitter by activists show police forcefully removing protesters from the Amazon depot near Lyon.


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