Activists take aim at Amazon with new coalition

    Amazon flourished over its first two decades with little opposition and less scrutiny. A new coalition and a report unveiled Tuesday make clear that era is over, just as this year’s holiday shopping season begins to heat up and there are plans for the company to open a fulfillment center in Baton Rouge. 

    As The New York Times reports, the coalition, Athena, comprises three dozen grassroots groups involved in issues like digital surveillance, antitrust and working conditions in warehouses. The goal is to encourage and unify the resistance to Amazon that is now beginning to form.

    The report, from the Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit research group that focuses on social and economic issues in Southern California, delves into the largely unexplored topic of what Amazon is costing the communities where it has warehouses.  

    While the simultaneous arrival of Athena and the report are a coincidence, they are linked by their attempts to understand and ultimately influence Amazon’s push into almost every aspect of modern life. 

    Amazon, like Facebook, Apple and Google, has drawn the attention of Washington regulators, state attorneys general and at least a few politicians in the last year. The central question being asked about all of the companies: When does a tech platform become too big and powerful, ultimately hurting the society it once dazzled?  

    In Baton Rouge, as reported in Daily Report last week, Amazon’s plans to redevelop Cortana Mall into a regional distribution and fulfillment center are coming closer to fruition, according to sources familiar with the situation who only spoke on the condition of anonymity In order to finalize its plans, Amazon has to close six separate sales for the site—one for the mall interior, and one each for the five anchor tenant spaces, which are individually owned.

    Though that’s a long and tedious process, purchase agreements are already in the works. 

    Read the full story about the growing resistance movement.  

     

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