Amazon warns protesters to stay off Seattle campus

Amazon.com’s Seattle headquarters campus has been the target of protests in recent weeks from a group called Working Washington that is calling on the company to pay more in taxes and improve working conditions at its fulfillment centers around the country.

(Click for larger version)

Today the company responded with a message of its own, putting up signs at the edges of its courtyard at 410 Terry Ave. in Seattle warning that unauthorized entry would be subject to prosecution for criminal trespass.

A small group of protesters gathered on the public sidewalk instead, handing out bookmarks calling on people to join them at a rally outside Amazon’s shareholder meeting scheduled for Thursday in Seattle.

  • NoNicks

    Has anyone else noticed the signs in this ‘public’ plaza in Terry Ave which restrict several of your constitutional rights, including the First Amendment as outlined here?

    That’s fine if it was private property – but that area was originally public property and was presumably handed over to Vulcan/Amazon by the city in the development deal.
     
    Are they planning on doing the same thing on the new campus, and creating broad ‘private’ plazas?

    Any investigative reporters out there on the case?

  • john

    Good to see Amazon fighting back against the forces of idiocy.

    • AnonymousIs

      Amazon supports ALEC, a group that is anti-democratic.  Amazon also pays virtually no taxes and exploits its work force.  You are a tool and a corporate shill. Go back into your air conditioned office and drink another latte while we work to make the world a fair and honest place.  Dipshit.

      • Guest

        Thank you for making the world a fair and honest place.

  • Gill Bates

    I can’t read that sign.  Are you sure it’s not referring to the restaurant under construction behind the plywood wall? Seriously asking.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Thanks — I had the same question when I was there, so I talked with the security guards, who said the sign was put there specifically to make it clear to the protesters that they weren’t allowed to gather in the Amazon courtyard. I uploaded a new version of the photo that you can click to enlarge.

      • Gill Bates

        Ah, cool. Thanks.

      • Guest

        I’m pretty sure that the security guard was misinformed or just talking off the cuff.  Why would the sign talk about “customers and patrons”, when clearly the people Amazon would want to allow there would be employees?

        • Sage, Working Washington

          You are correct that a sign referencing “customers and patrons” makes no sense in this context. It’s also what the signs said, and they posted the signs only when we arrived. (They were gone by late afternoon.) And in fairness, excluding a peaceful fair share protest from public space also makes no sense in any context. So maybe it was supposed to be a kind of surrealist reference to the absurdity of the situation?

  • Guest

    “Conditions of entry” signs that look just like that appear at my local QFC. Should we occupy the cheese counter in an act of civil disobedience?

  • Sage, Working Washington

    This is supposed to be a public space… part of a development deal with the city, much as they’re asking for in new development plan. Odd that “public” now means “ok for Starbucks customers” but not “ok for political speech”

    • Guest

      Sage, thank you for another eye-catching campaign! How much is Amazon paying you guys to pretend to protest?

      • Sage, Working Washington

        I thought it was the masons paying Amazon to pretend to resist public accountability.

  • http://ilikekillnerds.com/ Dwayne

    Someone throw some McDonald’s job applications at these people, sheesh.

  • http://twitter.com/Do_Go_On Do_Go_On

    Pro-labor groups will get to enjoy all the court-won protections afforded by the courts by cases challenging anti-choice protests at clinics. It must be odd to conservatives, this is one of their legacies that protest groups have court-challenged and proved protections.

  • http://twitter.com/Do_Go_On Do_Go_On

    Working Washington launched “Action Week” this week: http://www.workingwa.org/

    “Amazon has put profit ahead of doing the right thing with its
    affiliation with ALEC, shady business practices and tax dodging, but
    this May the 24th the 99% are crashing their shareholder
    meeting in the heart of downtown Seattle at the Seattle Art Museum. Come
    join in on the fun.

    Amazon still supports the ultra-right wing corporate lobbying group
    ALEC. This organization routinely writes “model legislation” that
    actively fights workers’ rights, creates more tax loopholes for big
    corporations, and erodes the social safety net that too many of us rely
    on in this still tough economy.

    On Thursday, May 24th, we are gathering underneath the
    Hammering Man at 8:30 AM to show the giant online retailer that they are
    accountable to the 99%. Seattle Art Museum 1300 First Avenue Seattle,
    WA.”

  • Ww

    Pretty shoddy (and sensationaliat) reporting there, Todd. That SPD sign is at a construction zone that has nothing to do with amazon. It’s the exact same sign on the construction site of the spec offce building that just broke groind on westlake – and probably most every other construction site in the city. i’d expect this kind of sloppy work from the Times and would hope you could do better.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Thanks — as I mentioned above, I had the same question, so I talked with the security guards, who said the signs were put there specifically to make it clear to the protesters that they weren’t allowed in the plaza.

      • Sage, Working Washington

        The security guards — who were quite nice & polite & just doing their jobs — specifically told us the notices were put up just for us. In fact, we saw they putting up the notices when we arrived. And removing all the chairs & tables that are normally in the plaza. 

        All because about 10 of us were going to read a story. 

  • Billg

    No doubt Amazon.com legal department had the idiots who put those signs up take them down. The best way to deal with 10 protesters is watch them, and then let them go home. No news, nothing to film for TV, no photos for the internet.

    And yes working in an Amazon.com warehouse sucks. I suspect that if the employees at those places had any other job opportunities they’d work somewhere else.

  • Jay Force

    Amazon warehouse workers should be careful what they ask for. Raise Amazon’s labor costs and they will replace you with robots (faster than they already are).

  • Amazon Security

    I work Security here… Please leave us alone and make my job simple today?

  • Roger

    410 Terry Ave is in fact public open space. It does not belong to Amazon. It does not belong to Vulcan. In negotiations with the city, Vulcan/Amazon agreed to the public space in exchange for taller buildings and the decimation of the landmarked Van Vorst building. Amazon has no right to remove any one from the plaza exercising their lawful and constitutional rights, no matter how embarrassing to Amazon their presence and message may be.