The big Cyber Monday sales aren’t all fun and games for some New Yorkers who oppose Amazon’s HQ2 proposed location in Queens. A group that includes NYC Democratic Socialists of America, Voices of Community Activists and Local Leaders, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, and more plan to protest instead of purchase gifts online today.
According to a Metro report, New Yorkers plan to protest Amazon on Cyber Monday. First, they will gather at 12:30 p.m. at Herald Square 34th Street. Then, the protest moves to Court Square Park in Long Island City, Queens Monday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The reason is that Amazon chose Queens as a location for its HQ2, which resulted in lots of tax breaks and perks from the city along with as many as 25,000 new jobs.
The Protect Queens #NoAmazonNYC protest expects to see thousands of people in the location, which is close to the proposed Amazon HQ2 location of Anable Basin Waterfront.
According to the event’s page, “The heartbeat of Queens is the working class and immigrants, not billionaires. At a time when our city is facing a crisis of affordability, New York is looking to pay Amazon, the richest corporation in the world, billions of dollars to gentrify Queens.”
Instead of the giant online retailer’s split headquarters, the group wants to see affordable housing, protections for immigrants, more funding for transit, and good jobs in Queens. The group believes that Amazon moving into the area will destroy Queens and provide a hardship to the working class and immigrant communities currently living in the area. They charge that the online giant exploits users’ private lives for data and profits.
Among the perks that the behemoth will receive from locating to the city are areas where the city had planned to create 1,500 affordable housing units, according to an AOL report. Plus, New York will provide $1.525 billion in direct incentives to Amazon for locating there.
In addition to the protest, the event’s organizers urge New Yorkers to participate in a Cyber Monday Amazon blackout and boycott as well as contact their elected officials in Queens. The boycott asks that all New Yorkers refrain from purchasing products from the retailer on one of the biggest online shopping days of the holiday season.
The boycott page reads, “On this Cyber Monday, a fake holiday promoted by the tech giants, we are calling for a boycott and decentralized direct action against Amazon by groups and individuals interested in fighting for a future worth living. We have had enough of the ‘gig economy,’ the tech companies lying and exploiting our private lives and data for profit, the expanding militarization and surveillance of everyday life, the building of walls, and the expanding gap between the rich and the poor.”