MediaJustice

Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 13

Contact: Eteng Ettah, [email protected], (510) 698-3800 x 413

MediaJustice launches pledge for consumers to Break Up with Amazon’s racist spy machine

MediaJustice launched, Break Up with Amazon, a new campaign calling on consumers to sign a pledge to move on from Amazon and its home surveillance company, Ring.

Amazon forms partnerships to give police access to their private surveillance network and invests heavily in developing racist surveillance technology for police use. This is not about fighting crime. This is about the continued subjugation and criminalization of Black and brown people. 

Since George Floyd’s murder and subsequent uprisings, Amazon has formed more than 175 new police partnerships bringing the total partnerships to over 1,550. Through their Neighbors App, Amazon empowers people to self-surveil their communities and routinely profile Black passersby as suspicious. And the technology giant continues to fuel ICE’s massive deportation and surveillance machine — capturing biometric data for over 230 million people living in America. 

Amazon’s private surveillance network automates racial profiling and the criminalization of Black and brown people. They aren’t selling safety, they’re selling a ‘future of fear, hate, and control.’

Said Myaisha Hayes, Campaigns Strategies Director at MediaJustice: 

“Amazon is more than just complicit in state-sanctioned violence targeted toward Black and brown people in this country. But rather, the tech company is an active participant in this violence, playing an integral role in reshaping and escalating police surveillance that monitors, tracks, and further criminalizes communities of color. While Black and brown communities continue to navigate surviving both the COVID-19 pandemic and our nation’s violent criminal punishment system, Jeff Bezos continues to increase the number of Amazon’s Ring private surveillance partnerships with local police departments and has exposed almost 20,000 of his own Amazon workers to the deadly coronavirus. It is clear that Bezos values profits over Black lives. This Prime Day, we’re asking our audiences to not allow Jeff Bezos to continue cashing in on this nation’s legacy of racism. Defunding the police must also include divesting from the police state’s tried and true partner, Amazon.”

Said Fabian Rogers, Advocacy Associate at Surveillance Technology Oversight Project:

“We need to divest from Amazon as their partnership with police is an indicator of a divestment from supporting and protecting Black and brown lives. As Amazon offers their private surveillance resources to law enforcement, this expands the jurisdiction and racial bias of police’s over-surveillance to an extent comparable to federal. This is an unjust far cry from a solution to address safety in Black and brown communities and we’re watching the unlawful expansion of the police-state among us as we know it. Divest from Amazon and invest locally.”

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MediaJustice is dedicated to building a grassroots movement for a more just and participatory media—fighting for racial, economic, and gender justice in a digital age. MediaJustice boldly advances communication rights, access, and power for communities harmed by persistent dehumanization, discrimination and disadvantage. Home of the #MediaJusticeNetwork, comprised of more than 100 grassroots partners, we envision a future where everyone is connected, represented, and free.

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