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City cleans up after anti-Amazon action

Amazon reported having its best holiday shopping season ever, and in San Francisco it benefited from some free “advertising,” courtesy of a protest campaign. PHOTO: Naomi Rose

A group of protestors claiming to be artists concerned about the social impact of e-commerce may have confused more than they enlightened with a recent action. Starting in the Tenderloin but spreading to other areas of the city, these protestors — operating under the shared name of #antiadvertisingcampaignnumber1 — painted Amazon Prime logos on sidewalks and put up Amazon Prime signs on vacant storefronts.

The point of the holiday season action was to highlight what the protestors said was the loss of local businesses and jobs due to the rise of e-commerce. One of the group’s members was quoted by Hoodline’s Carrie Sisto as saying that it was logical to use a “shock tactic, given that there is so much apathy in the city.” The group also tried to tie its protest to the prevalence of drug dealing and homeless on downtown streets.

The Tenderloin Community Benefit District took to Twitter to complain about what they thought was an Amazon advertising campaign run amok. “Hi @amazon! our sidewalk cleaners have a pretty tough job as it is [without] having to handle sidewalk ads. Can you please message us a point of contact for this ad campaign in SF’s Tenderloin?” District 6 supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes the Tenderloin, also took it as a real campaign and tweeted “Amazon, stop. And pay your taxes.”

A YouTube video claiming to be connected to the protest campaign claims it will solve the city’s homeless crisis and the retail apocalypse in one year.

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