Environmental activists have chained themselves to gates and turnstiles as they occupied an Amazon building near Paris, accusing the online company of destroying jobs and hurting the planet.
Protesters also disrupted Amazon sites in the southern city of Toulouse and the northern city of Lille, hoping to inspire similar action in other countries.
Several dozen demonstrators climbed a fence and forced their way into Amazon offices on Paris’s northern edge, staging a day sit-in in the courtyard and entry hall of the premises.
Employees were allowed to leave the building, but were not allowed back inside.
The activists, mostly student volunteers in their 20s, said they chained themselves to the gates and the turnstiles inside. Outside, some played football, listened to music — and said they were gearing up to spend the night if needed. Some wore yellow vests.
Protest organisers called on the government to block authorisation for three new Amazon warehouses set to open around France.
They accuse the company of killing jobs in local businesses, not paying enough taxes, and exacerbating climate change because of the emissions used in transporting its huge volume of goods.
“We accuse Amazon of making things worse in terms of over-production and climate change,” notably through massive imports of electronic goods and clothes sold online, whose transport increases carbon emissions, said Alma Dufour of Friends of the Earth.
“I think we’ve reached a point where we could win the cultural fight against Amazon in France and it will be an example for other countries,” she told the Associated Press.
Climate activism is currently on the rise in France.
But Amazon is continuing to grow its footprint in the country, adding three new warehouses to five existing ones.
On its website, Amazon France insists it supports the communities where its employees live and is “constantly searching for ways to reduce our impact on the environment” by reducing packaging and making it more recyclable.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.