The Corner

Economy & Business

Why Protest Amazon’s Store Clerks and Shoppers?

A box from Amazon.com in Golden, Colo., July 23, 2008. (Rick Wilking/REUTERS)

“Cyber Monday” brought protesters to Amazon’s store at West 34th Street in New York City, protesting against the announced move to Long Island City for one of the company’s two new headquarters facilities.

“We’re outraged New York City gave away $3 billion dollars to the richest man in the world,” said Angeles Solis, an organizer with Make the Road New York, referring to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. “This is a growing coalition of workers and we’re sending a message that Amazon doesn’t belong here … When the labor community comes together, it can bring change.”

According to reports, employees inside the Amazon store initially allowed the protesters to make speeches before two police officers asked the crowd to leave.

There’s no point in chanting and yelling at the store workers and the people shopping there; they’re not the ones responsible for Amazon’s deals. One can debate how much point there is in protesting the corporate leadership of Amazon for going out and getting the best deal they can from cities; after all, that’s what a company’s leaders do — they look out for the company’s interests and look for the best advantage they can get.

No, the blame for Amazon’s deal to move to Long Island City goes to the men who negotiated it on behalf of taxpayers — Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Of course, both men like to see themselves as good progressive Democrats, and no doubt many left-leaning progressives in New York City feel the same. In this year’s Democratic primary, Cuomo beat Cynthia Nixon in every region; her best borough was Manhattan with 41 percent. De Blasio won the 2017 Democratic primary by a 3-to-1 margin.

Crony capitalism and sweetheart deals for favored companies are indeed awful — but it says a great deal about the loudest activists on the modern Left that they choose to vent their ire at busy store clerks and shoppers instead of focusing it upon the Democrats who negotiated the deal. If they can’t speak truth to power, they’ll yell it at the people browsing in the memoir section.

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