The festive season always brings a sense of community and joy, especially as christmas rolls around; but it can also be an extremely stressful and financially draining period. This is a time for massive sales, promotions and gifts – yet our purchases can have a direct and extremely negative impact on our society.
In October, hundreds of musicians signed an open letter in a bid to boycott Amazon with the campaign entitled #NoMusicForICE – following the revelation that Amazon were sponsors of Intersect Festival, a direct violation of the ethics of many artists originally on the bill.
Continuing with the boycott, especially as Black Friday dominated the markets on November 29th; many musicians who signed the open letter have continued their vocal disdain for Amazon and have continued with direct action – making an important statement especially during the holidays. Beginning on the 29th, music by those involved has been removed from Amazon and a “mass takedown” will continue throughout the festive season; evidently one of the most important times for a corporation’s business as we all scramble to get our holiday shopping done.
It may go without saying, but Amazon is known as one of the most exploitative and unethical corporations in the world, and aside from the myriad of abuses that are directly caused by them; they work with, and have a deal with the (American) Department of Homeland Security, who are directly responsible for ICE – the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known for their extreme human rights violations. Amazon hosts DHS databases that allow ICE to track down immigrants and therefore contribute directly to the human rights abuses caused by ICE.
The open letter in October stated a list of demands that Amazon needs to adhere to in order for the boycott to be lifted – with this direct action, many musicians are continuing to put pressure on the corporation; in the hopes that mass action will drive the company toward putting a stop toward their continued human rights violations.