Protesters form a human chain as they rebel against Amazon’s plan to set up a facility in the southern town of Fournes.
Hundreds of people have gathered in several French cities for protests called by anti-capitalist and environmental groups against the e-commerce giant Amazon.
Among the places where protesters rallied on Saturday included the small southern town of Fournes, near Pont-du-Gard, a World Heritage Site, where the US-based company is building a 38,000-square-foot (400,000-square-foot) Location plans. Feet) plant.
During protests on the site, between 800 and 1,000 people formed a human chain to demonstrate the scale of the project. Multi-colored balloons floated 18 meters to indicate the height of the planned five-story warehouse.
“It’s been two years since the citizens of Fournes and the surrounding area fought against the installation of a huge Amazon camp,” said Raphael Pradeau, spokesman for the French civic activist group Attac.
“At first they were a little alone against everyone, but they managed to stop the project thanks to the legal process,” he added.
“We want to show that these are not small, isolated struggles and that we can mobilize hundreds of people willing to return to stop work,” said Pradeau.
Activists gather on the site where Amazon plans to build the Fournes warehouse [AFP]
The activists view the retail giant as a major contributor to the urbanization of farmland, a process they believe is a major contributor to climate change and the loss of environmental biodiversity.
Amazon’s global revenues have increased during the pandemic, and its ability to continue selling during the coronavirus lockdown has deepened frustration among French opponents who say it represents a US-style mass consumer culture at odds with one long local tradition of neighborhood shops.
The protesters also planted bushes in front of huge banners that read “Stop Amazon” and “Not here or anywhere”.
“These plants, these shrubs that we are planting today are a symbol of life that is contrary to the concretization that Amazon practices,” said 38-year-old Sarah Latour, 38, who has her two sons aged six and over eight years ago.
“I came with my children because I don’t want this destructive model for them,” she told the AFP news agency.
Around 200 people also gathered in front of an Amazon facility in Carquefou, a suburb of the western city of Nantes.
“We condemn Amazon for destroying more jobs than they create,” said Sophie Jallier, a spokeswoman for the organizers in Carquefou.
Further protests were reported in the eastern cities of Ensisheim and Augny.
When Amazon responded to similar demonstrations last month, it said it had inadvertently become the mouthpiece of organizations that frequently used “misleading” information. The company has invested 9.2 billion euros in France and was “the origin” of the creation of 130,000 jobs, said a spokeswoman.