by Yanis Varoufakis, published on DiEM25, 11/26/2020
This is an interesting Global Call to Action. This is a strategy I have long advocated in other campaigns so I hope they do this again. I also published a WW article describing some of the local protests against Amazon in the US. One interesting point: On Saturday, the day after this boycott, I noticed that Amazon was down (not coming up on the web) for most of the day. So, someone out there took this campaign a step further than the call. Beyond these I am not certain of the consequences. The short video below has a little more information than the text. [jb]
This Black Friday, Friday, the 27th of November 2020 we’re asking you to refrain from buying anything from Amazon.com.
We’re asking you to not even visit Amazon.com on that day. Just for one day. We are asking you to join our global campaign to make Amazon pay. On this day, by boycotting Amazon you will be adding your strength to an international coalition of workers and activists from the ITUC, UNI Global Union, and Public Services International, and Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, to the Tax Justice Network, and Data for Black Lives. Amazon is not a mere company. It is not merely a monopolistic mega-firm. It is far more, and far worse, than that. It is the pillar of a new techno-feudalism.
Amazon treats its workers as expendable robots. Reducible to their capacity to pick and pack under conditions that crush their souls and bend their bodies. Amazon drives into the ground the small bookshops and businesses that are the fabric of our communities. Amazon is not a mere service provider, nor are its profits the rewards of a service provider. Amazon is a gigantic behavior modification machine. Its data services run the business of government while its top executives dictate policy to politicians. Its algorithms provoke and tease that which people buy, watch, and read.
Amazon does not pay for the damage it inflicts upon workers in unhygienic warehouses. For the elimination of small businesses. For the massive damage it inflicts upon the planet, our environment. For the government services that our necessary to repair the damage that Amazon inflicts on our people, on our communities, on our environment. Amazon, in short, is a clear and present danger to workers communities, to public health, to the planet, to our democracies, and, yes, to the notion the liberal individual that the establishment waxes lyrical about.
What can you do to make Amazon pay? Are we not too small to matter? No, we’re not.
Remember: no despot, oligarch, or entrepreneur has the power to rule over the millions, the billions of us without our consent. The truth about despotic power does not lie in the despot’s weapons, bank accounts, or data servers. It lies in the minds of those the despot controls. It lies in our inaction.
The beauty and the power of our Black Friday Day of Action lies in the fact that it requires only a tiny sacrifice from you: Just don’t visit Amazon.com for one day. That’s all! But this tiny activism, when carried out by millions, or billions, out there, will translate into a huge blow for Amazon. Even if we cause a small dent in Amazon’s revenues on that one day, on Black Friday.
You see, Jeff Bezos, a very smart man, will take note. He will get it. Amazon’s days of impunity are over. Together, this Black Friday, we can make a gigantic difference with a tiny act of solidarity to workers, communities, and the planet. This Black Friday let’s make Amazon pay. Okay? Carpe DiEM.