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    Amazon Pull Out From New York the Result of Community Activism

    © AFP 2019 / EMMANUEL DUNAND
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    Gabi Silva, an organizer with Damayan and the Scamazon Coalition, told Sputnik that backlash over Amazon's plans to establish its second headquarters in the Big Apple was a result of the "resurgent left."

    "We had the good fortune of working with this incredible coalition made up of Queens organizations who were very clear that there was no version of this deal that would convince us to allow Amazon to come to New York City," Silva told Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear on Friday.

    ​"[It's] incredibly powerful, and I think it's very clear that the people were strong in their politics, strong in their opposition… there's a lot of promise to continue building, which we need, because the fight isn't over."

    Amazon announced on Thursday that it was ditching its plans to set up shop in the city, saying in a statement that "a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City."

    "We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the US and Canada," it added.

    Silva, a resident of Queens, told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that locals were bothered by the deal from the time it was announced. "There was outrage that this deal was trying to be imposed on us without any sort of input or involvement from the community, and it was really just like a show among local politicians," she said.

    With billions having been put up as an incentive for Amazon, it's clear that the Empire State has enough funds to help tackle issues like homelessness and others related to poverty. From the start of the Amazon deal, Silva told Kiriakou that community organizers made their voices heard in wanting to ensure that the community was being invested in.

    "Queens saw the highest rent increase last year in the entire country," Silva said. "We called for an end to union busting."

    "It was much bigger than just keeping Amazon out. Having a plan and vision and calling for accountability from the city to make sure they're investing in us in the ways that we want… calling for the things that we've long needed."

    The Amazon deal was expected to provide $30 billion in tax revenues in exchange for nearly $3 billion in promised tax breaks. Amazon chose the Long Island City section of Queens as the site of its second headquarters in November 2018.

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