By Sandra Harris
On June 28, protesters set up a guillotine outside of the Washington DC home of Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and richest man in the world. A sign set up next to the guillotine said “Support our poor communities. Not our wealthy men.”
The guillotine is best known for its use in France, particularly during the French Revolution, led by the bourgeoisie to overthrow the monarchy.
Fliers for the event called it a “March on Jeff Bezos’ House.” Bezos’ home in DC was formerly the city’s Textile Museum and is the largest mansion in the capital, worth $23 million. Protesters took over the street and chanted slogans in front of his home, with one protester shouting, “When they become threatened, and we have no voice, the knives come out!”
The pamphlet for the protest called on people to end Bezos’ “abuse and exploitation.” They denounced Bezos’ investment in tracking and facial recognition technology which he has sold to law enforcement agencies, stating that he “works directly with the police to watch over us.”
Bezos has also invested his funds into tracking technology to monitor his employees and the communities they live in to track and stop worker unionization. His company, Amazon, has a long track record of suppressing workers organizing to improve their conditions.
They also brought attention to the firing of Amazon worker Chris Smalls who made national news earlier this year when he was fired for leading a walkout at a New York facility where workers demanded Amazon clean the facility after they found out that multiple employees had tested positive for coronavirus.
Bezos’ fortune is estimated at $148.4 billion, which has accumulated from his exploitation of millions of workers.