DSA Santa Cruz organized an intervention in front of the Amazon office at Cooper and Pacific St. downtown. Here’s what 2 of our comrades had to say:
Why are we striking at Amazon, what do they have to do with climate chaos?
We’re striking Amazon because it funds climate chaos, through logistics and infrastructure, structurally enabling the US military’s war machine.
We’re striking Amazon, in solidarity with Amazon workers, because of the massive wealth of Jeff Bezos, the richest person on the planet, who represents economic injustice, worker oppression, and anti-democratic oligarchy.
We’re striking Amazon because it directs its enormous wealth and power toward climate violence. The software and CIA-funded data analysis company Palantir, founded by billionaire Trump adviser Peter Thiel, runs on Amazon’s cloud. (Thiel has said that “freedom and democracy are incompatible”–we think not.) Palantir provides ICE with software to track and store information on migrants and asylum seekers, with Amazon and Palantir enabling ICE’s reign of terror that tears families apart. This is climate chaos.
We’re strike Amazon because it is part of Trump’s deportation machine, supporting biometric data mining and algorithmic surveillance. Palantir pays Amazon $600,000 a month for use of its servers. Amazon is the invisible backbone of ICE’s immigration crackdown, creating a beyond-Orwellian security state founded on anti-migrant xenophobia, institutional racism, and white supremacy—all part of climate chaos.
We’re striking Amazon because it’s now bidding for a $10 billion contract with the US military to set up a War Cloud—massive computer infrastructure to support the greatest greenhouse gas emitter, purveyor of violence, and force of geopolitical destabilization on Earth.
We’re striking Amazon because it is acting to securitize climate emergency instead of helping people in desperate need, people from central American, from Honduras and Guatemala, who have suffered decades of violent US military interventions and anti-democratic policies, and who helped produced the drought and agricultural emergency that is now plaguing the region. This is climate chaos.
We’re striking Amazon because the Never Again Action group has compared Amazon’s logistics to IBM’s collaboration with Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
We’re striking Amazon because Jeff Bezos spends billions on space travel (one billion every year for his Blue Origin program designed to create off-world habitats), instead of stopping the destruction of Earth right now.
We’re striking Amazon because its infrastructure is part of the server farms that consume 200 terawatt hours per year, likely to grow 5 times by 2030, insuring more disastrous climate breakdown.
We’re striking Amazon because “climate change” can’t be narrowly defined; because green capitalism—including Amazon’s electric cars—won’t save us; because climate chaos, as Amazon, Wells Fargo, and Google/Looker show us, represents an economic regime that places profits over people.
We’re striking Amazon to demand economic justice, to demand migrant justice, to demand climate justice, to demand a massive structural political and economic re-organization that is the only way to create a liveable planet for all!
Hi I’m Angela. I use she/her and they/them pronouns. I am a sophomore at San Lorenzo Valley High School and member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Many agree that we need system change not climate change. But what is the system we should be targeting?
Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership. The people don’t have control over the resources they need to survive because they are owned by the wealthy. Capitalism encourages business competition and an exponential increase of profit. As a working class person, you have to sell your labor for a wage decided by your boss, but there is no limit to how much your boss can profit off of abusing you and ecological resources. Under capitalism, companies have to grow exponentially or die. It is a system inherently incapable of being ecologically sustainable.
Because they have to compete with other businesses, bosses have to cut costs to grow and dominate the market as quickly as possible. Exploiting workers and natural resources is generally an effective way to do this, whether through using cheap coal, or paying employees a poverty-level wage.
Mass production of goods- like clothing or food- requires massive amounts of work and energy. Amazon and other corporations use tons of fuel every day to transport goods. Warehouse workers are paid extremely low wages and work in unsafe conditions, and they are in danger of losing their jobs to automation. Under capitalism, all of this is justified in order to make a profit. Workers and nature are both exploited.
Using “clean” energy may sound like a great solution to climate change, but it’s a huge investment. It cuts greatly into profits, so owners are incentivized to resort to fossil fuels (or electricity likely produced by fossil fuels) because it’s cheaper. Because the bosses and the banks have the power, we don’t get a say in how our natural resources are used. We don’t get to say what kind of work we do or democratically decide what products society as a whole produces. We don’t get to produce things based on what we need. This is a problem.
We are told that what is good for business is good for society because of the free market, but that isn’t true. Capitalists are encouraged to neglect future consequences for short-term gain. They must grow profit exponentially which cannot be sustainably done with limited resources.
I’ll close with this: If Jeff Bezos wanted to, he could liquidate $100billion in assets to spend on trapping carbon dioxide, funding clean energy, OR” providing food, medical care, counseling, and shelter for the tens of millions who are already displaced due to climate change. He would still be a billionaire, but he won’t do it. Neither will the rest of the bourgeoisie.
Everybody must do their part, but changing consumer culture won’t solve climate change. We must topple the capitalist system that, in this country alone represents almost 15% of ALL greenhouse gas emissions.
Capitalism and its need for constant growth causes climate change, and this global problem will not be solved without the dismantling of the capitalist system.”