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Protesters set up guillotine outside Jeff Bezos’ home, call for abolishing Amazon

Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon's smartphone on Wed., June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/MCT/TNS)
July 12, 2020

Protesters set up a guillotine in front of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ home in Washington, D.C., last month as part of a demonstration demanding Amazon be abolished.

Multiple videos of the protest made the rounds on social media on Sunday. One video included the guillotine, a sign that directly in front of it that read, “Support our poor communities, not our wealthy men,” and a handful of lounging protesters.

In another video, a male protester, standing in front of the guillotine, speaks through a megaphone and says, “…when they become threatened, and we have no voice, the knives come out.” His message is followed by tepid applause from the group of protesters.

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Prior to the protest, a digital flier titled “Abolish the present. Reconstruct our future” circulated online to promote the event called the “March of Jeff Bezo’s House.” According to the flier, the goal of the event was to “End the abuse and profiteering. Abolish the police, the prisons, and Amazon.”

“Amazon works directly with police to surveil us, stoking racist fears in the name of profit,” the flier states. “Doubling down on their union busting and mistreatment of workers, Amazon fired and racially slandered labor organizer Chris Smalls. Join us to tell Jeff Bezos enough is enough!”

An Amazon employee for five years, Chris Smalls was fired after purportedly organizing a work-stoppage protest at the Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, N.Y, the Guardian reported. His apparent grievances were regarding a lack of personal protective equipment and hazard pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon said Smalls was fired because he violated social distancing guidelines and put the safety of others at risk.

According to Fox News, it is not clear if Bezos was in D.C. at the time of the protest or not. His primary residence is in Washington state.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle and is now one of the richest people in the world with a net worth estimated at $182.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Amazon was one of the many companies demanding justice following the death of George Floyd, a man who died while in the Minneapolis Police Department’s custody.

The company posted a note that said, “We believe Black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with our Black employees, customers, and partners, and are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear.”