Guillotine Is Set Up Outside Home of Jeff Bezos

Demonstrators speak up after the Amazon CEO's wealth reportedly tops $200 billion
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2020 12:00 PM CDT

Over a hundred demonstrators gathered Thursday outside Jeff Bezos' mansion in Washington, DC, and assembled a guillotine at his front door, Business Insider reports. Led by a group called the Congress of Essential Workers, the protest was designed to oppose current employee wages at the company. It also came a day after Forbes pegged the Amazon CEO's wealth at more than $200 billion. "While [Bezos is] off living his luxury lifestyle, the people in his warehouses are suffering," said an Amazon warehouse employee who opposed the company's enforcement of mandatory overtime during COVID-19. "They make all this money off the backs of essential workers. They call us heroes, but you don't force a hero to be a hero."

Amazon critic and former employee Christian Smalls—who founded the Congress of Essential Workers—posted a video of demonstrators assembling the guillotine. He urged the online retailer to increase its minimum wage from $15 per hour to $30 per hour in recognition of Bezos' immense wealth: "Give a good reason why we don't deserve a $30 minimum wage when this man makes $4,000 a second," he said. Fox Business notes that guillotines, popular during the French Revolution, were used to killed Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. But this guillotine was said to be non-functional. The protest comes at a time when reports that income inequality is rising worldwide and the richest 1% own 44% of the world's wealth. (More Jeff Bezos stories.)

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