Amazon protesters set up guillotine outside Jeff Bezos’ home

  • Demonstrators set up a guillotine outside Jeff Bezos’ house to protest Amazon workers’ wages on Thursday.
  • The protest came the day after Bezos’ net worth exceeded $200 billion for the first time, making him one of the richest people in history.
  • Protesters, led by former warehouse worker and outspoken Amazon critic Christian Smalls, called on the company to raise its minimum wage to $30 per hour.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than 100 demonstrators gathered outside Jeff Bezos’ Washington, DC, mansion on Thursday and constructed a guillotine outside his front door to protest Amazon workers’ wages.

The protest came the day after Bezos’ net worth surpassed $200 billion, making him the richest person in history, according to Forbes. His wealth has grown by about $85 billion since January, boosted by Amazon’s soaring revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A video posted to Twitter by a Washington Examiner reporter shows former Amazon warehouse worker Christian Smalls, an outspoken Amazon critic, calling on the company to raise its minimum wage from $15 per hour to $30 per hour in light of Bezos’ surging wealth. The protest was led by the Congress of Essential Workers, a group founded by Smalls.

“Give a good reason why we don’t deserve a $30 minimum wage when this man makes $4,000 a second,” Smalls said.

Smalls was fired from Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse after calling for better safety standards amid the pandemic. He said he was fired as retaliation for organizing a walkout after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus, but Amazon denied this.

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Since then, he has led multiple protests targeting Amazon and Bezos, including an August 10 protest outside Bezos’ New York apartment building.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some Amazon employees to speak out about working conditions, it’s also been a financial boon for the company. It reported $88.9 billion in sales in the second quarter of 2020, a record for the company.

It’s not clear whether the protesters’ guillotine had a real blade or was functional. The Congress of Essential Workers did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

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