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Amazon Proposes South African HQ on Sacred Land

Denounce Amazon’s plan to build a South African HQ on sacred indigenous land!

Petition to Congress:
We demand you publicly denounce Amazon for trying to build its South African HQ on sacred indigenous land — and take steps to reduce the company’s immense power.

Amazon wants to build a new HQ in South Africa by bulldozing over sacred indigenous land.1 And just like when Amazon tried to build a new HQ in New York City, local activists in Cape Town are pushing back.

Amazon didn’t choose a sacred indigenous site by accident. They know it has historical, cultural and environmental significance.2 They just want to destroy and build on it anyway.

But since Amazon is a US company, they’re particularly vulnerable to grassroots pressure here in the US. You can show your solidarity with indigenous activists in South Africa by calling on your member of Congress to denounce this new Amazon headquarters.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to denounce Amazon’s plan to build a HQ on sacred indigenous land in South Africa!

The indigenous land sits on the banks of the Liesbeek River where in the year 1510 Khoi and San peoples successfully fought back Portuguese colonizers. The area is still a source of pride and cultural heritage for the Khoi, which also survived decades of oppression under Apartheid. But now Amazon wants to bulldoze it and build a sprawling campus.

Over 50,000 residents in Cape Town signed a petition opposing the construction, but Amazon is pushing ahead anyway. That’s why folks on the ground there are asking for your help!

From AfricaNews AFP report:

Last month, the port city approved the construction of a nine-storey commercial and residential complex on a riverside green space, which will be anchored by the US online retail giant’s 70,000 square metre offices. But some descendants of the region’s original inhabitants, the Khoi and San peoples, accuse the project of desecrating their ancestral lands and plead the cultural and environmental significance of the site.

“Our heritage will be completely destroyed,” Aran Goringhaicona told AFP. “This place has a great spiritual significance for us,” added the traditional leader who heads a collective opposed to the project. Together with a group of local residents, the Observatory Civic Association (OCA), they wrote to the developer, Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust (LLPT), this week to warn it of their intention to challenge the project in court.

If US elected officials publicly denounce this HQ project, Amazon will face an international political and PR nightmare. Activists here in the US successfully blocked an Amazon HQ in New York City. Together you can show solidarity with indigenous activists and help block this new Amazon HQ in South Africa.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to denounce Amazon’s plan to build a HQ on sacred indigenous land in South Africa!

Sources:
1. Reuters, “Heritage dispute engulfs site chosen for Amazon’s new African HQ,” June 3, 2021.
2. Africa News, “Controversy over the location of Amazon African headquarters in Cape Town,” May 14, 2021.

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