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Black Friday sparks global backlash from politicians, activists #BLOCKFriday

Is 2019 the year of “Peak Black Friday”? Protesters around the world say that it urgently needs to be and many are using a new rallying cry “Block Friday!”

PARIS, FRANCE – Against a backdrop of Black Friday shopping mania, activists around the world are protesting consumerism and its impact on the climate ahead of the United Nations climate summit next week. Fridays for Future‘s Canadian branch has tweeted that there are 2460 protests taking place in 158 countries around the world today.

Thousands of people in Australia and Europe joined rallies demanding more action on climate change on Friday, aiming to force political leaders to come up with urgent solutions at the United Nations climate summit in Madrid from Dec. 2 to 13.

Workers at six Amazon distribution centres in Germany have also staged a Black Friday walkout in a dispute over pay and conditions.

At the online retailer’s depot in Bretigny-sur-Orge, south of Paris, dozens of climate change activists blocked the path of trucks trying to enter the site.

Other protesters converged on Amazon’s French headquarters in Clichy, north of Paris.

The activists held banners with slogans including “Stop Amazon and its world” and “Amazon: for the climate, for employment, stop expanding, stop overproduction”.

We will not betray our children for a 30% discount!”

“The planet burns, oceans die, and we still want to consume, consume, and therefore produce, produce – until we eradicate all living things? … We will not betray our children for a 30% discount!” reads a manifesto by groups holding “Block Friday” protests around Paris.

Protests in the United States

Groups of young people in the U.S., where Black Friday originated as a Thanksgiving weekend event, planned a “Black Friday Strike,” from Los Angeles to New York, to boycott the celebration of consumer discount shopping and to advocate for “a change to business-as-usual to confront the climate crisis.”

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