A group of activists staged a protest at Amazon Web Services’s (AWS) summit Tuesday in an attempt to bring attention to the company’s work with immigration agencies and police departments.
The collection of roughly a dozen protesters from MediaJustice, the Muslim Counterpublics Lab and For Us Not Amazon gathered in front of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., during the event’s keynote speech.
The organizations are hoping to bring attention to the ways they say technologies provided by AWS, Amazon’s cloud service provider and one of the main sources of the company’s revenue, are being used to surveil and target Black and brown communities.
“These summits are just a part of the PR strategy to sanitize Amazon’s role as facilitators in state violence. While attendees will spend three days learning all about the power and capabilities of AWS, I doubt they’ll hear about the people who have been displaced, arrested, and even deported because of Amazon’s technology. Next Monday will mark the two year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. And over that time, despite many pledges to value Black lives, Amazon’s actions have actually made Black people less safe.”Myaisha Hayes, campaign strategies director at MediaJustice
A handful of the protesters attempted to enter the event to make their voices heard during the speech. Despite registering for the event, Hayes and Maha Hilal and Kris Garrity of the Muslim Counterpublics Lab had their credentials revoked and were asked by Amazon staff and building security to leave before the keynote kicked off.
“All this complicity that Amazon has in state violence is unseen.”Danny Cendejas, a field organizer at MediaJustice