In this meeting we met to discuss the role tech workers and socialists can play in challenging Amazon’s most recent incursion into NYC.

Amazon has announced it will build a new headquarters in Long Island City, aided by giveaways from the State and City estimated to be up to $3 billion. Meanwhile our city’s subway system, schools, and other public services are overburdened to the point of collapse. With Amazon’s expansion in NYC, we can only expect things to get worse. It’s sickening that profitable companies are able to extract billions from our government, and it’s particularly galling in the case of Amazon — a company with a well documented anti-democracy and anti-worker record — helmed by Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest person on the planet. This deal – and all deals like it – must be challenged and Tech Action has an important role to play in shutting it down!

To spur our imaginations and for more background on the deal we heard from a variety of speakers inside and outside DSA — including Assemblyman Ron Kim, Zach Lerner of NYCC, and NYC-DSA Queens Housing Working Group rep Sam Feldman — on reasons why Amazon must be resisted and strategies for doing so. We heard about specific canvasing, petitioning, flyering, phone-banking, rallying, and opposition research efforts, and plugged our members into those actions.

We also broke into discussion groups to strategize what other ways Tech Action can uniquely contribute to this fight against Amazon. Some highlights from those groups were:

  • “Focus on social media strategy, make lots of anti amazon memes”
  • “Create “fuck off amazon map”, i.e. anecdotes from ordinary people against Amazon and where they are in NYC”
  • “Highlight the grassroots power of DSA to elected officials; be a threat”
  • “Find a way to advocate or craft policy for in-house/public cloud hosting on a city or state level”
  • “Appealing the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] records request for the deal; argument is: lots of conflicts of interest, public has a great interest in knowing the details of the deal”


  1. Do Amazon’s Opponents Have Any Hope Of Stopping Queens Campus?. Although many politicians and media outlets are saying this is a done deal, that is not quite true. This article from Gothamist has some info on what steps still need to be taken at the City and State level to finalize.

  2. Amazon told employees it would continue to sell facial recognition software to law enforcement. You may remember that many white-collar Amazon employees organized and spoke out against the company’s contracts with ICE and law enforcement. Despite the employee protests, Amazon has stated these contracts aren’t going anywhere. This move demonstrates that Amazon is a direct threat to the largely immigrant community of Queens, and shows that they have no respect for the concerns of their workforce whether white- or blue-collar.

  3. Google abandons Berlin base after two years of resistance. Concerted efforts by community activists can shut down these kinds of deals. In Berlin the #FuckOffGoogle campaign successfully kept a Google campus out.

Discussion Questions

  1. How do we convince coworkers not to work for Amazon (or any company with a similarly bad reputation, like say, Walmart) and to oppose their expansion in NYC?

  2. How do we convince friends and family that they shouldn’t patronize Amazon? What are the best arguments we can use to tarnish Amazon’s brand?

  3. Thinking more broadly, how can we challenge the idea that corporate tax incentives fuel growth? What alternatives can we offer that are determined by local needs and driven by local inputs?