Block Friday: French activists attempt to disrupt low cost buying day

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PARIS (Information) – Activists staged protests in opposition to on-line retailer Amazon round France on Friday and tried to blockade a shopping center in Paris, denouncing as rampant consumerism the U.S. Black Friday buying frenzy that has unfold to European shores.

Youth for Local weather activists block the doorway of the Westfield Les four Temps buying heart as a part of a day of protest to denounce the annual Black Friday buying frenzy at La Protection enterprise and monetary district in Puteaux close to Paris, France, November 29, 2019. The slogan reads “Let’s burn capitalism, not oil”. Information/Noemie Olive

French firms have embraced the low cost buying day held the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving vacation because it was dropped at Europe by Amazon and others. Nonetheless, there has additionally been a backlash, pushed partly by environmental considerations.

In Spain, protesters additionally put up a banner within the coronary heart of Madrid that learn: “Consumerism = local weather disaster.”

A number of dozen demonstrators gathered at daybreak outdoors an Amazon (AMZN.O) headquarters constructing within the Clichy district of Paris for a sit-down protest outdoors the entrance gates. They held up an indication saying: “No to Amazon and its world.”

Manon Aubry, a left-wing member of the European parliament, mentioned the protest was supposed to “denounce the social, environmental and financial injury from Amazon.”

“From the streets to parliament, we proceed to combat in opposition to the impunity of the multinationals,” she wrote on Twitter.

Based on social media posts from Attac, a gaggle that campaigns for extra democratic globalization, there was additionally a sit-down protest outdoors an Amazon logistics heart close to Lyon, in jap France.

Video posted on-line by Attac confirmed police in riot helmets selecting up activists and hauling them away. The Lyon protesters had erected an indication saying: “Amazon … Cease enlargement, Cease Over-production!”

In a e-mailed assertion, Amazon France mentioned it revered the rights of individuals to specific their opinions however that didn’t prolong to organizing violent demonstrations the place folks work.

“The demonstrators and Attac are throwing round unfaithful allegations based mostly on factual errors and are pointing the finger at Amazon for political ends,” it mentioned.

Some 40 younger protesters tried to dam the doorway of a giant buying heart in La Protection enterprise district in Paris on Friday morning by locking arms, although passers by had been nonetheless in a position to get via.

The demonstrators, who additionally gathered outdoors retailers contained in the mall, chanted “Work, devour and shut up, that’s the message given to our youth”.

“We’re altering Black Friday into Block Friday, it’s a image of capitalism,” mentioned one of many protesters, Raphael.

Francois Momboisse, president of French on-line retail affiliation Fevad, condemned the protests.

“Black Friday is without doubt one of the high gross sales days of the yr and it permits us to clean out Christmas buying over an extended interval fairly than compressing all these gross sales within the Dec. 10 to 24 interval. It doesn’t essentially result in extra consumption,” he instructed French broadcaster BFM TV.

French lawmakers on Monday handed a legislative modification to ban deceptive promotions throughout sale durations, taking purpose at Black Friday campaigns specifically.

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The modification is a part of a brand new regulation geared toward cracking down on waste, which can push firms to recycle unsold items. It’s not clear how deceptive promoting will probably be outlined or penalized.

The textual content of the modification described Black Friday as a “huge operation for the glorification of consumerism imported from the USA.”

(This story has been refiled to repair syntax in first paragraph)

Extra reporting by Geert De Clercq and Noemie Olive in Paris and Ashifa Kassam in Madrid; Enhancing by Christian Schmollinger and Mark Potter