No AmazonHQ2 Principles and Statement – 12/12/2018
No AmazonHQ2 Principles of Engagement & Statement:
The fight against Amazon has just begun, but already we are seeing official and informal alliances forming – some look promising, but others are weighed down by electoral and large non-profit interests. We understand that the many groups fighting Amazon will not always be in close coordination, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, we do feel that there is a need to clearly delineate between a concessionary, non-oppositional stance and a principled opposition against Amazon. Moreover, we want to establish a set of agreed upon principles for all of us to help ensure that this moment is not co-opted or weakened, and to strengthen each other. Therefore, we propose the following Principles and Positions Statement:
Principles of Engagement:
- We will not meet or communicate with Amazon or any of its representatives.
- We will not meet or communicate with any politicians who have previously endorsed AmazonHQ2 or have connections to the Real Estate industry. This includes every politician who signed the statement, dated October 16, 2017, endorsing AmazonHQ2.
- We will oppose AmazonHQ2 in its entirety–with or without public subsidies–and reject any discussion about concessions or negotiation.
- We respect the diversity of tactics used in the fight against AmazonHQ2.
Amazon is not welcome in New York City, and our language must reflect this. We are opposed to AmazonHQ2 in all its forms, whether or not they receive a subsidy or promise us jobs & infrastructure. Known worldwide for its labor violations, Amazon is a hyper-exploitative corporation, actively contributing to the gap between the rich and working class. The corporate behemoth is facing anti-trust complaints in multiple countries. Amazon has a history of collaboration with law enforcement agencies and federal agencies such as ICE as it pushes its facial recognition technology, contributing to an expanding authoritarian police and surveillance state.
New York City is in the middle of a housing and homelessness crisis that worsens every year. Rents are skyrocketing, neighborhoods are gentrifying, housing court lines are getting longer, and NYCHA (public housing) is in complete disrepair. Instead of addressing this crisis through public investment in underserved, working class, and immigrant communities, the City has maintained a policy of hastening displacement through its devastating zoning policies, specifically the deceptively named Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program (MIH), and through public-private partnerships. Lastly, we are witnessing the defunding of CUNY and public services in general, in favor of privatization.
It is in this context that AmazonHQ2 is coming to Long Island City, threatening to significantly speed up the process described above. Thousands of high paid workers from around the world will be moving to Queens, and this tech-gentrification will lead to tenant harassment, rent hikes, and massive displacement. The human toll of these pressures is often not discussed – the financial, social, and emotional pressure produced by the reality of affordable housing and displacement destroys lives. Hence, displacement is not just about eviction, but an unmeasured toll on our livelihoods.
NO WITH NO CONDITIONS TO AMAZONHQ2!!
Endorsed By (alphabetical order):
Brooklyn College Student Union
Decolonize This Place
Queens Anti-Gentrification Project
Sunset Park for a Liberated Future
Take Back The Bronx