Concerned that Amazon is offering anti-parenting benefits to parents, workers have stopped the start of the company’s Month of Honor

As Amazon was preparing for the start of the Month of Honor on Wednesday at its Seattle headquarters, a group of people holding flags of transgender pride fell to the ground.

Individuals – most of whom identified themselves as Amazon employees – staged a protest against Amazon’s decision to offer books on its platform that activists say are transphobic, such as “Desist, Detrans & Detox: Getting Your Child Out of the Amazon ». Gender Cult ”and“ Irreversible Damage: Transgender Fascination by Seducing Our Daughters ”.

The books, activists say, are prominently displayed on the Amazon website, especially when users search for LGBTQ + titles. “Irreparable Damage” is listed as a bestseller on Amazon’s digital bookshelf for LGBTQ + research.

Amazon says the books do not violate the content policy. “As a company, we firmly believe in diversity, equity and inclusion. As a bookseller, we have decided to offer a very wide range of perspectives, including books that contradict the values ​​and corporate positions of our company, ”the spokesman said. “We believe that it is possible to do both – to offer a wide range of perspectives in our bookstore and to support diversity, fairness and inclusion.”

At the siren signal, activists lay in front of the stage on Seventh Avenue, under the flag of honor hung between two buildings on Amazon’s main campus in Seattle, interrupting the start of speeches by leaders of Glamazon, Amazon’s membership group for LGBTQ + members. Amazon did not continue the planned event after the “death”.

The protest was a continuation of Fr. summer battle between Amazon employees and executives. In April 2021, dozens of workers supported an internal complaint alleging that “irreparable damage” violates the company’s policy against selling books that “embody the identity of LGBTQ + as a mental illness,” according to complaints and responses reviewed by The Seattle Times.

At the time, Amazon said it would not stop selling the title. About 500 workers have now signed up for a petition began in April again calling on the campaign to stop selling “Irreversible Damage” and other names that activists consider transphobic.

The petition also asks Amazon to set up a supervisory board for employees to reject and reclassify content, “openly communicating decisions and justifications.” The council will include and advocate for workers from marginalized communities.

“By continuing to sell and promote anti-trance books and by repeating the rhetoric of the anti-trance movement, Amazon’s top management has allowed the store we are building and running to be an accomplice to this hate movement,” the petition said.

“Amazon’s continued lack of action in the fight against hatred leaves the door open for even more hatred and further abuse,” it continues. “In response, we are organizing a workers’ movement to stop hatred of Amazon.”

Organizers of the “death” and petition say they do not want to ban the book altogether, but want Amazon, as a public company, to take a stand against what they see as hate speech.

“We believe in freedom of speech. We believe in a free market of ideas, ”one speaker told his Amazon staff during the protest. “We know that some content will be unpleasant to us, but we are holding the border against the language of hostility.

“We are drawing rice in content that helps and encourages psychological violence against transgender children,” continued the speaker, who, like other protesters who identify themselves as Amazon employees, asked not to publish their name to protect their work.

In February 2021, Amazon received a letter from U.S. Sen. Mark Rubio, R-Fla., and other Republican lawmakers who accused the company of censoring books after it removed the controversial title “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to a Transgender Moment” by conservative author Ryan Anderson. Amazon, the senators wrote, “shamelessly used its large market share to silence an important voice.”

Since then, Amazon’s policy has not changed, but its implementation has changed, said one of the organizers of the event before the protest on Wednesday.

The organizer, who said she worked for about 10 years at Amazon’s global consumer division, moved on during her time at the company and said she felt supported by her team and organization. But Amazon’s refusal to call for the book’s removal had a “painful” impact that left it in doubt as to how long it could stay.

According to her, many employees who led the initial call to action have left the company.

“A few months ago there came a time when many of us were saying,‘ We have to do something … or we have to quit and get out of here, ’” she said. “But the reason I’m staying now, and why many of us are staying, is that we feel this fight is worth it.”

The protest was the first official event for No Hate At Amazon, a new workers-led group calling on Amazon’s leadership to “reject hatred.” The group does not disclose how many members it has, and clarifies that it is separate from the affinity group of Glamazon.

Earlier this year the Seattle Pride removed Amazon as a sponsor, referring to the financial support of legislators, organizations and legislation that does not support the LGBTQ + community. Crystal Marx, CEO of Seattle Pride, said it felt at the time that Amazon was trying to buy the event with a $ 100,000 donation offer and a request to host the annual Seattle Pride Parade, presented by Amazon.

At the time, Amazon said it “has long supported the Seattle Pride because we believe that the rights of LGBTQ + people should be protected.”

Outside Amazon headquarters on Wednesday, the group wrapped its pink-and-blue and white flags around itself and marched from Amazon’s Doppler building to Danny Park, chanting, “What do we do if transgender rights are under attack? Get up, fight back. “

Amazon, the organizer said, is on blood for the damage done to transgender youth. As employees, she said, “we are helping to maintain the infrastructure in one way or another that supports this machine that continues to produce this hated content.”

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