Successful Fight Against Amazon In Seattle
On 5 November, 2019 in Seattle city council elections took place. In the focus of debates on this issue is the technological giant Amazon accused of having tried to buy these elections. Jeff Bezos is said to have invested millions of dollars in the campaigns of candidates convenient to him.
As his special adversary Bezos regards the socialist city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who together with grassroots movements, trade unions and left organizations forced through a minimum wage of 15 dollars per hour. She is demanding an “Amazon Tax” being collected from all the big business concerns. The money should be used to fight homelessness in Seattle. For the only attempt to forestall Kshama Swant’s reelection Bezos’ company spent million dollars – and failed. Sawant was re-elected.
Since Amazon’s headquarters moved to Seattle, the city has seen massive social problems causing struggles for a higher taxation of the concern, boosting the actions of the Right-to-the-city movement.
The fact that nowadays even families with two working persons have to live in cars shows the social chasms of a city allegedly profiting from the job engine of an internet giant. This reminds us of the social conflicts of the high times of industrialization and Manchester capitalism.
The German Left Party joins the massive criticism of Amazon by the international public for trying to buy the Seattle city council and intervening with high sums of money in the election campaign. We express our solidarity with the activists of the movements that are for years struggling for a social city, and having now to resist even the economic power of that mighty concern in their democratic battle for election results and mandates.
We send our congratulations to all elected city councilors of the left. We are standing side by side of all those fighting Amazon.
Left-wing people all over the world have a close look at the political battles in Seattle for democratic legitimacy.
These battles are symptoms of the new forms of capitalistic exploitation and the social misery it generates, of a new type of enormous market power of the internet concerns and technological giants.
In Berlin, Tübingen, and other German cities we now also see Amazon, Google, Facebook and the like settling down under the new neo-liberal paradigm of transforming them – mostly by private capital – to “Smart Cities”. This is accompanied in urban politics by fierce fighting against insane apartment rents, forced eviction, rising commercial rents, and the ever deeper division of society.
All this fighting is highlighting the world-wide struggle for a socialist society founded on the principle of solidarity that has our full support.