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12 Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested at Amazon Darlington

A TOTAL of 12 people have been arrested after a demonstration outside the Amazon warehouse in Darlington.

The final protesters who had attached themselves to makeshift structures at the access points to the depot were arrested overnight.

All 12 were charged with aggravated trespass and bailed with conditions including not to enter County Durham and Darlington or any Amazon site. 

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “We would like to thank the public for their patience during the operation which brought the protest to a safe conclusion.”

It comes as Extinction Rebellion (XR), who are behind the protest, are staging similar demonstrations across the UK - including Gateshead - and blocking access for HGVs.

Amazon bosses were forced to cancel shifts for workers at the site in Darlington, telling them their safety is its "top priority."

Meanwhile, Darlington MP Peter Gibson condemned the actions of Extinction Rebellion as he said he expected the police to disrupt the protest.

The Northern Echo:

Why are the group holding protests?

Extinction Rebellion (XR) said it has been holding demonstrations on one of the retailer's busiest days of the year, Black Friday against what it has described are "crimes."

Explaining their actions behind it, an XR spokesperson said: “The action is intended to draw attention to Amazon’s exploitative and environmentally destructive business practices, disregard for workers’ rights in the name of company profits, as well as the wastefulness of Black Friday.

“The blockade is part of an international action by XR targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centres in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, aimed at highlighting Amazon’s ‘crimes’.

“This is happening in solidarity with activists and workers from the global Make Amazon Pay campaign, demanding better working conditions, clear environmental commitments and for Amazon to pay their fair share of tax.

“Amazon continues to lobby the US government to fight against climate legislation while telling the public they are committed to green initiatives.

“They are committing the very definition of greenwash.”

What Amazon has said

Amazon said it is working to minimise any potential disruption to customers.

A spokesman said: “At Amazon, we take our responsibilities very seriously.

“That includes our commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement – providing excellent pay and benefits in a safe and modern work environment, and supporting the tens of thousands of British small businesses who sell on our store.

“We know there is always more to do, and we’ll continue to invent and invest on behalf of our employees, customers, small businesses and communities in the UK.

“We’re proud to have invested £32 billion in the UK since 2010, creating 10,000 new permanent jobs across the country this year alone, and generating a total UK tax contribution of £1.55 billion in 2020.”

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