Though Amazon prohibits the sale of items that “promote or glorify hatred, violence, and racial, sexual, or religious intolerance,” it seems surprisingly easy for racist products to slip through the cracks. On Amazon Prime Day — Tuesday, July 17 — protesters gathered outside New York’s Javits Center to protest Amazon continuing to profit off of “products that convey messages of anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and other hate.”
Assembling giant wall of Amazon boxes labeled Prime Hate to protest Amazon profiting off of white supremacist sales. Here at @q_amazonwebserv summit. #primedayofaction #primedforhate pic.twitter.com/tBTW9bNiNh— deborah axt (@DebAxt) July 17, 2018
The protest was organized by Make The Road NY, an immigrant-rights advocacy group based in New York City. They were likely inspired by a report, published by the Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race and the Economy, which showed how little Amazon did to enforce its anti-hate policies. Subsequently, Amazon had been selling (and profiting off of) Neo-Nazi paraphernalia.
A spokesperson for Amazon told Business Insider:
Third-party sellers who use our Marketplace service must follow our guidelines and those who don’t are subject to swift action including potential removal of their account.
Protesters brought some examples of products that had, apparently, sidestepped the rules:
These are actual items for sale on @Amazon. It’s UNACCEPTABLE for the largest platform in the world to profit from and facilitate the sale of white supremacist and nazi merchandise.— Make the Road NY (@MaketheRoadNY) July 17, 2018
We are here to say ENOUGH! #PrimedForHate #PrimeDayofAction pic.twitter.com/XfrcTVO74t
It's time for @amazon to #StopDeliveringHate! I'm standing with @TishJames @RWDSU @MaketheRoadNY @nychange @ALIGNny on #PrimeDay to say the world's largest marketplace is no place for hate propaganda. #primedayofaction pic.twitter.com/abPrKEiQ6s— Scott M. Stringer (@NYCComptroller) July 17, 2018
And this protest was only one of many inspired by Prime Day nationwide. Though the protesters outside the Javits Center were focused on Amazon’s sales of racist products, others hoped to draw attention to the company’s “working environment and tax policies.”
Reminder to not use or even open the Amazon website today, and to try to avoid their subsidiaries (such as Whole Foods, Audible, ComiXology, etc.) - strikes are happening today and have been occurring for the last several days to protest cruel and exploitative working conditions.— Deerheart (@WesDaviesArts) July 16, 2018
Hey!!! It’s the 16th and that means it’s Amazon Prime Day. If you’re able to, show solidarity for the worker protests by refraining from visiting/buying from the site today. Just 24 hours!— Wafer??? (@WaferBiscuits) July 16, 2018
Nearly 1,800 #Amazon workers in Spain went on strike Monday during #PrimeDay, and thousands more in Germany are expected to walk off the job today, the 2nd day of the 36-hour sale. They're calling for better working conditions, pay and health benefits. https://t.co/JNcUtJIw7M— UFCW (@UFCW) July 17, 2018
Amazon should work on these issues before they hurt their bottom line.