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Activists in France staged a demonstration against Amazon’s ongoing expansion in the country last week. Protesters piled up Amazon delivery boxes and unveiled several banners with anti-Amazon slogans in front of the Finance Ministry. Three activist organizations, ANV-COP 21, Attac, and Amis de la Terre, took part in the demonstrations.
ANV-COP21’s Sandy Olivar Calvo spoke to Reuters about her group’s involvement.
“Amazon is destroying jobs and climate in France. It plans to massively expand in France, with dozens of warehouses already built and more to come. We demand a freeze [on building more],” she said.
In particular, the groups are concerned with the conversion of farmland into urban space that results from the building of Amazon warehouses and the loss of biodiversity that this entails. Additionally, the protesters outside the Finance Ministry say Amazon’s practices are at odds with the French traditions of supporting small-scale local businesses and shops. They also contend that Amazon destroys more jobs than it creates, which has been a common concern regarding the online mega-retailer.
🔴Action en cours d’@attac_fr, @amisdelaterre et @AnvCop21 devant le Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances pour « dénoncer la complicité du gouvernement dans l’expansion d’#Amazon en France ».#StopAmazon #BlackFriday #Paris pic.twitter.com/Uk4uEAdigD
— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) December 4, 2020
In response to a recent request by the French government, Amazon delayed its online Black Friday sales until December 4th this year. This came on the heels of French finance minister Bruno L Maire calling on online retailers to delay their sales events in order to help local retail shops.
“Today we have decided to delay the date of Black Friday if this can help shopkeepers reopen before Dec.1. This year the Black Friday will take place on Dec. 4,” said Amazon spokesperson Frederic Duval in response to the request.
Amazon was also at odds with the French government earlier this Spring. The online retailer was ordered to stop the delivery of non-essential items in April. Amazon appealed the decision but it was ultimately upheld by The Versailles Court of Appeals.
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