‘Amazon does not have our best interests at heart’: Protesters swarmed City Hall as New York’s city council held its first hearing about Amazon’s HQ2 deal

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‘Amazon does not have our best interests at heart’: Protesters swarmed City Hall as New York’s city council held its first hearing about Amazon’s HQ2 deal

Protesters swarmed City Hall as New York’s city council held its first in a series of hearings about Amazon’s HQ2 deal on Wednesday.

Amazon announced on November 13 it would split its second headquarters between the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens and a region of Northern Virginia that Amazon has named National Landing.

As the hearing was set to begin, many angry New Yorkers gathered on the steps of City Hall, chanting “G-T-F-O Amazon has got to go” and “We need money for education, not for banks and corporations.”

Between chants, speakers shared stories on behalf of Amazon workers who they said had reached out to them prior to the protest. Others expressed their own fears about what HQ2 means for New Yorkers and communities in Queens.

There were protesters from a number of organizations, including the New York City Democratic Socialists; New York Communities for Change; the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; and the Long Island City Coalition. Individual speakers included assembly member Latrice Walker and city council member Jumaane Williams.

Read more: ‘I was not elected to be a cheerleader for Amazon’: New York officials rail against Amazon’s HQ2 deal amid shouts of protesters in a wild hearing

Miguel Adams, a representative of VOCAL NY, which assists formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, said he fears Amazon will continue to gentrify New York and displace working-class families.

“We have been bamboozled by Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo. We must hold Amazon accountable, but we must hold these two accountable too,” he said.

Here’s what the protest was like:

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