Protesters put up guillotine outside Jeff Bezos' Washington house, write 'abolish police, jails and Amazon'
A number of videos making the rounds on social media showed how protesters in DC placed a model guillotine in front of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Washington complex, with one flyer for the event reading, “End the abuse and profiteering. Abolish the police, the prisons, and Amazon.” Alongside the model guillotine was a sign reading “support our poor communities, not our wealthy men.”
Drew Hernandez, host of the online show "Lives Matter", shared the videos on Twitter noting how protesters had gathered around the guillotine. "DC protesters have set up a guillotine in protest of Jeff Bezos in front of his complex in DC," he wrote alongside one video. You can watch the video here.
In yet another video shared by Hernandez, protesters are seen standing before the guillotine and stating, “when they become threatened, and we have no voice, the knives come out." Responsibility for the demonstration was claimed by a group called 'Abolish The Present / Reconstruct The Future', who tweeted the video and wrote alongside, "It’s an uprising, and we’re taking it to our neighbor @JeffBezos‘ house #dcprotest".
This is not the first time Bezos has faced pushback from anti-capitalists. Last year, a Change.org petition was created titled "Guillotine Jeff Bezos" — with some supporters going so far as to make jewelry and earrings with Bezos' 'severed head'. Bezos has been ridiculed in the past for the workplace conditions for Amazon employees as well as their wages. Furthermore, as reported by Breitbart News, despite his "promise to reflect on 'systemic racism' facing black communities and urging employes to take time to learn and reflect on Juneteenth, many employees at the firm feel that little has actually been done to correct perceived racial inequalities within the company." Bezos was discussing Juneteenth celebrations when he told employees that he was "canceling all my meetings on Friday, and I encourage you to do the same if you can.”
In yet another backlash, several employees noted that canceling meetings wasn't an option for them. They noted how several retailers offered Juneteenth as a paid holiday, while Amazon asked warehouse workers to wear black to honor the event.
“What does a black shirt do for anybody in terms of social justice?” Adrienne Williams, a black contract driver for Amazon in the Bay Area, told the New York Times. She argued that if the e-commerce giant actually wanted to address racial inequality, they should pay workers more. “That would cut down the pre-existing condition that is poverty,” she said. Amazon employee Johnnie Corina III, who filed a discrimination complaint against the company saying it fosters a "hostile work environment for black warehouse employees," said Bezos' comments on Black Lives Matter were merely lip service. “The ‘in’ thing right now is Black Lives Matter and equal justice,” Corina told the paper. “You can tell when something is genuine and something is not.”
In response to the outrage, an Amazon spokesperson told NYT that the company was “committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear.”