Amazon is Delivering Destruction

by Chris Eaton

June 25, 2020

We can’t let corporations like Amazon get away with this hypocrisy while our country faces the pandemic and systemic racist violence.

Amazon and the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, keep piling on hypocrisy after hypocrisy:

  • In the last month, Amazon has touted its “Climate Pledge,” while continuing to provide cutting edge computing technology for oil corporations to transport, refine, and sell more oil
  • Amazon’s own operations are producing more carbon pollution compared to last year
  • Amazon’s PR team has boasted about COVID-19 safety for workers, while the company fired others who spoke out for safer working conditions
  • While Bezos took to Instagram to hollowly claim solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Amazon continued to reap profits by providing surveillance technology to racist police departments and ICE

We can’t let corporations like Amazon get away with this hypocrisy while our country faces the pandemic and systemic racist violence. More than ever, we need to do what Greenpeace does best: harness people power to expose the elites who profit from harming communities and the planet.

We need you to be counted among those resisting corporate hypocrisy and forcing these mega-corporations to do better. We’re facing a critical fundraising deadline on June 30. What we raise this week will determine how big our campaigns challenging polluters like Amazon, confronting the plastic industry, and resisting the Trump administration’s policies will be for the second half of the year.

Luckily, a group of generous benefactors has agreed to match all online donations this week for donations up to $25,000. If you want people power to overcome polluter power, we have to unlock these funds. I’ve never seen a moment like this, when people power can change everything.

Greenpeace US delivers its message demanding Jeff Bezos and Amazon board members protect workers and the planet on the eve of the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Tens of thousands of people have joined Greenpeace’s #NoTech4Oil campaign, urging Amazon to end its artificial intelligence contracts with Oil and Gas companies. Greenpeace supporters have also called on Amazon to do more to protect its workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the morning of May 25th, I stood in the empty streets of Seattle across from the glass spheres and imposing office buildings owned by Amazon. Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting was the next day and, despite the shelter-in-place order, I needed to make sure Jeff Bezos couldn’t hide the abuse of workers in the pandemic or his technology’s role in fueling climate-destroying oil companies.

That night, the world changed. George Floyd was murdered by the police. With rage and grief, people flooded into the streets to demand justice.

Now, our interlocking crises – the pandemic, white supremacy, and planetary destruction – could not be more clear. Our system allows corporations like Amazon to profit from all three, while ensuring that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are disproportionately harmed. They face more exposure to COVID-19 as Essential Workers, bear the overwhelming brunt of inequity and police violence, and live in communities facing the industrial air pollution, heat waves, and strengthening storms driven by the fossil fuel industry. The same system that allows corporate and political elites to destroy the environment allows them to harm Black and Brown communities.

Clearly, we must change the whole damn system. And you, as a Greenpeacer, have a clear role to play in challenging the big corporate polluters that hold up and profit from this system. Our hard-hitting investigations, actions, and mobilizations have put corporate boardrooms on edge for years, generating tangible wins for people and planet!

Greenpeace is no stranger to challenging the tech industry, so you know your generous donation will have a big impact. Following Greenpeace campaigns, corporations like Apple, Facebook, and Google have adopted sweeping measures to power their energy-hungry data centers with wind and solar. Just last month, Google announced it would not build custom solutions for the oil and gas corporations cooking the planet. Now, we know from their PR spin that Amazon is feeling the heat from our investigations exposing their oil industry contracts and our allies exposing their surveillance contracts.

Big Tech is just one of the industries we are facing down (we’re looking at you, Oil and Plastic). It’s time to show once and for all that people power is greater than corporate power and the political elites that hold it up. And that won’t happen without you.

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By Chris Eaton

Chris is the Senior Digital Campaigns Manager at Greenpeace USA. He's passionate about building movements and connecting change makers through digital storytelling. Follow him on Twitter at @chr15_eat0n.

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