Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Surveillance Capitalism

Amazon’s MGM using Ring doorbell video surveillance in Film

There’s a petition campaign against it from Daily Kos:

Amazon’s MGM Studios are taking advantage of surveillance footage from Ring cameras for a new reality TV show. The show will feature footage entirely from Amazon’s Ring system and is a blatant attempt to normalize Amazon’s shady surveillance tactics by making those tactics appear “family friendly.”

Sign the petition to MGM: Cancel Ring Nation.


Millions of people— including users, their families, and casual bystanders—are surveilled daily by Ring cameras. Our whereabouts are tracked. The things we do and say are recorded. This amassed data can be–and has been–shared with local police departments and their partners in government agencies. It’s important to recognize such devices for the surveillance power they have.

It’s irresponsible for MGM to promote dangerous surveillance devices, like Ring, as family-friendly entertainment. Ring is not safe for families or anyone else. By canceling Ring Nation, you will help protect our privacy and show solidarity for Black and brown people and abortion seekers, people most threatened by over-surveillance.

Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions Stand with Palestine

Amazon and Google Workers Oppose Apartheid Tech

Amazon and Google tech workers have called mass actions against the corporations’ participation in high-tech projects that enforce Israeli apartheid and militarism against the Palestinian people for Thursday, Sept. 8 in NY, Seattle and San Francisco.

From their press release:

Hundreds of employees of the American tech giants Google and Amazon are scheduled to organize three vigils next Thursday outside the headquarters of the two companies calling for the cancellation of Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal with Israel that will provide it with cloud storage services and artificial intelligence tools.

The #NoTechForApartheid movement said vigils are also expected to be held in the cities of San Francisco, New York and Seattle in an effort to prevent Israel from using technology in its crimes against the Palestinian people.

The movement, which was founded last year, has also started a campaign to sign a petition calling on the management of the two companies to cancel the deal. The deal, so far been signed by nearly 40,000 American citizens, calls on the two tech giants to “stop dealing with the Israeli apartheid regime and withdraw from the Nimbus project.”

The petition affirmed its solidarity with hundreds of Amazon and Google employees who are courageously calling for withdrawal from the Nimbus contract.

You can sign the petition on their website:

There is also a national planning call for solidarity with Amazon workers against union busting for the same day.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Plan to Control Workers: Hire Only ‘the Vulnerable’


In a memo leaked to Recode, Amazon honchos said it would hire students from poor households and people just let out of jail after finishing their sentences. The implication is they would be desperate for jobs and join Amazon. Unable to afford advancement through college, for example, they would be trapped into remaining at Amazon. The memo says that those “vulnerable adult workers would become pro-company speakers.”

And for California the Amazon memo envisions a “school to warehouse pipeline”—their words—to funnel young L.A. high schoolers and community college grads into its monster facilities. Amazon also proposed eliminating its employment interviewers’ questions to job applicants about pot use. The racist implication is that minority youth using the drug would be even more vulnerable and prone to super exploitation.

The memo also calls upon Amazon to launch a PR campaign designed to ingratiate itself with community groups. And Amazon would shine up its image by supporting organizations that campaign for social change, such as better schools and job opportunities for ex-inmates.

… The memo characterizes both groups as “vulnerable people” open to an Amazon message of immediate jobs. According to the Amazon plan,  they then become company defenders against the union.

The memo admitted Amazon began with two big disadvantages: Negative perceptions of its impact on communities and local businesses and its low pay. Though the memo did not say so, the negative impact resulted in civic defeats of Amazon warehouse construction projects not just in Southern California but in Colorado, New York City, and elsewhere.


Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Surveillance Capitalism

Surveillance Nation: From Amazon to the NSA


Amazon wants to be your retailer, educator, grocery store, security system, bank and now your healthcare provider: A few days ago, reports came out that the tech giant is looking to buy One Medical for $4 billion, its latest foray into the healthcare business. At the same time, Amazon provides law enforcement with easy access to massive amounts of data and the tools to parse it.

Of course it’s not just Amazon: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and every big tech company obey the basic law of capitalism: grow or perish. They all rely on one shared resource: our data. And they all cozy up to the U.S. government when it comes to information sharing.

Meanwhile, agencies like the CIA and NSA, plus lesser-known ones like the National Reconnaissance Office, regularly spy on people across the globe with flimsy legal pretext. In the digital age, what was once led by the government is more and more relying on partnerships with private big data companies.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Workers in Motion


About 4,000 unionists from across the country and 200 international guests from around the world attended the Labor Notes conference the weekend of June 17–19 in Chicago. …A conference panel titled “Amazon Workers in Motion” highlighted some of the union organizing efforts that mark new developments in the U.S. labor movement. Among the most important is the Amazon Labor Union’s (ALU) stunning April 1 victory in the union election at JFK8, Amazon’s giant fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York. The panel brought together four Amazon workers from four different geographic regions, each with its own history and demographics. These union organizers shared their experiences while outlining differing views on strategy and tactics.

Pictured above on the panel:  From left: Moderator Bianca Cunningham; Chris Zamarron, a cofounder of Amazonians United (AU); Rev. Ryan Brown, President of the Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (CAUSE); Angelika Maldonado, Amazon Labor Union (ALU) interim vice president; and Isaiah Thomas, a dock worker at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, and member of the BAmazon organizing committee, affiliated with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). (Photo: Screenshot from panel video, courtesy Labor Notes).

Video of this panel is available online here.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Surveillance Capitalism

Amazon Turns RING videos in to cops without consent

Ring, which Amazon bought in 2018, has repeatedly said that police can’t view recordings unless clips are posted publicly or shared directly with police, though that doesn’t apply to police subpoenas and emergency requests. While the company’s policy has said this information can be shared without a user’s consent, this letter is the first time the company has confirmed that it has handed over this information. (Map above shows ring installations connected to law enforcement.)

It’s a data point that is likely to only heighten Congressional scrutiny of the tech giant, which lawmakers have already upbraided over its privacy practices, after its facial recognition service Rekognition falsely associated 28 members of Congress with criminal mugshots in 2018 and how its Echo Dot Kids Edition protected children’s privacy.

The company is also facing antitrust concerns over its dominance across online retail, and its treatment of the third-party sellers that use its platform.

Ring doorbells, in particular, raise privacy concerns because of their popularity, Amazon’s agreements with police, and Amazon’s growing technological capabilities. In 2020, Ring responded to a letter from five senators and revealed that four employees improperly accessed Ring video data.

Amazon currently has agreements to let 2,161 police departments across the country use an app called Neighbors where users post Ring camera footage and leave comments. Police can use the app to send alerts and request videos.

In 2021, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported that police in Los Angeles requested Ring footage recording Black Lives Matter protests.

“As my ongoing investigation into Amazon illustrates, it has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded,” Markey said in a statement.

While Congress is mulling over a federal data privacy law, the proposed bill wouldn’t cover Ring sharing data with police, as it allows for exceptions in cases where a company needs to comply with law enforcement agencies.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions Surveillance Capitalism

Exposing the Harms of AWS

Exposing AWS Rally in D.C.

Tuesday May 24, 11:30 AM Eastern Time

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington DC

Despite being a seemingly invisible force, Amazon has inflicted immeasurable harm on Black and Brown communities by supporting and colluding with state violence. Join us on Tuesday May 24, 11:30am-1pm in DC to help expose AWS at Amazon’s (AWS) Summit. We will be there, to demand an end to the harms of Amazon in our communities, including through the surveillance of workers and providing tech for pol(ice), prisons, and apartheid.

We’ll be hosting an art installation outside of the Convention Center to shed light on Amazon’s harms and to galvanize our community to rally and resist Amazon. Join us to tell this megacorporation that we reject their violence!

**ICYMI** Check out last night’s teach-in on AWS’ harms! We learned a lot from great speakers including Myaisha Hayes (MediaJustice), Aly Panjwani (ACRE), and Paromita Shah (Just Futures Law). Learn more about the Northern Virginia Coalition here and here

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Warehouses Injuring More Workers


“Our injury rates are sometimes misunderstood,” wrote Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in a recent letter to shareholders. Asserting that the company’s incident rates are “a little higher” than the warehouse industry average, Jassy states that the company nonetheless has room for improvement, and is “dissecting every process path” to lower the rates.

It’s a bold obfuscation. Contra Jassy’s assertions, Amazon’s well-established problem of grinding down its ever-expanding workforce has only gotten more dire, even as the company claims that it seeks to become “Earth’s Safest Place to Work.”

The numbers Jassy uses in his letter are misleading. He writes that Amazon’s warehouse workers are injured at a rate of 6.4 per 100 workers, compared to the industry average of 5.5 per 100 workers. But those are the numbers from 2020 rather than 2021. Last year’s numbers are worse: according to a recent report from the union coalition Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), the total injury rate among Amazon workers in 2021 was 7.9 per 100 workers, a sharp increase from 2020.

Further, comparing Amazon’s rate to the industry average fails to account for the fact that Amazon employs around one-third of all warehouse workers in the United States; much better to compare Amazon’s rate to that of all non-Amazon warehouses. The SOC report does so, finding the serious injury rate at Amazon is more than twice as high as that of its counterparts.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Stand with Palestine

Amazon, Israeli Generals Profit from Operation Nimbus


Koren was not the first Google – or Amazon – employee to be fired for standing up for a good cause, nor would, sadly, be the last. In this age of militarism, surveillance, unwarranted facial recognition and censorship, speaking one’s mind and daring to fight for human rights and other basic freedoms is no longer an option.

Amazon’s warehouses can be as bad, or even worse than a typical sweatshop. Last March, and after a brief denial, Amazon apologized for forcing its workers to pee in water bottles – and worse – so that their managers may fulfill their required quotas. The apology followed direct evidence provided by the investigative journalism website, The Intercept. However, the company which stands accused of numerous violations of worker rights – including its engagement in ‘union busting’ – is not expected to reverse course any time soon, especially when so much profits are at stake.

But profits generated from market monopoly, mistreatment of workers or other misconducts are different from profits generated from contributing directly to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Though human rights violations should be shunned everywhere, regardless of their contexts, Israel’s war on the Palestinian people, now with the direct help of such companies, remains one of the gravest injustices that continue to scar the consciousness of humankind. No amount of Google justification or Amazon rationalization can change the fact that they are facilitating Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

To be more precise, according to the Nation, the Google-Amazon cloud service will help Israel expand its illegal Jewish settlements by “supporting data for the Israel Land Authority (ILA), the government agency that manages and allocates state land.” These settlements, which are repeatedly condemned by the international community, are built on Palestinian land and are directly linked to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

According to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Project Nimbus is the “most lucrative tender issued by Israel in recent years.” The Project, which has ignited a “secretive war” involving top Israeli army generals – all vying for a share in the profit – has also whetted the appetite of many other international tech companies, all wanting to be part of Israel’s technology drive, with the ultimate aim of keeping Palestinians entrapped, occupied and oppressed.

This is precisely why the Palestinian boycott movement is absolutely critical as it targets these international companies, which are migrating to Israel in search of profits. Israel, on the contrary, should be boycotted, not enabled, sanctioned and not rewarded.

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BDS-LA Joins MLK Day March/Caravan for Social Justice in Crenshaw District

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