Hostility to Amazon now taking the form of graffiti in Seattle

Jul 13, 2018, 6:08 PM
Graffiti criticizing Amazon has been springing up all over Seattle, including images like "Amazon Get Out" and "Die Techie". (GeekWire Photo, Kurt Schlosser)
(GeekWire Photo, Kurt Schlosser)

If you’ve driven around Seattle lately, such as through the Battery Street Tunnel, you’ve likely noticed some graffiti that’s not quite friendly to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos or his online retail company.

Hostility to the internet juggernaut often takes the form of protests and editorials. Now we can add spray paint to the mix as GeekWire’s Kurt Schlosser reports.

“We don’t know if this is the work of a group or a single person,” Schlosser told the Ron and Don Show. “Judging by the variation in the artwork and the amount, it looks like it’s more than one person.”

Schlosser documented the many tags around town, many of which can be vulgar. Some of the tags include statements like “Amazon Get Out” and “Die Techie.” One includes an image of Bezos that simply says “I’d Tax That.” It’s shown up on sidewalks, light poles, buildings, and Amazon delivery lockers. Though nothing’s appeared on any packages left at peoples doors. You’d have to be pretty fast for that.

RELATED: Seattle’s graffiti detective on the spread of Homer Simpson tags

“There’s a message out there that’s screaming to be heard, and a lot of people are seeing it because it’s so public,” Schlosser said.

There are many who see Amazon as the dominant force in Seattle’s rapid gentrification, which has produced a lack of affordable housing and a rapidly changing city that’s often unrecognizable to the one many Seattleites grew up with. Proponents of the recently-defeated head tax certainly echoed this sentiment.

The delicate relationship between Amazon and Seattle

Amazon currently employs 45,000 people in Seattle, many of whom probably see the spray-painted animosity on the way to work. In recent years, the online retailer seems to have begun an effort to reshape their image among the city’s detractors with efforts to supply housing for the homeless, donations to the University of Washington, and the support of mass transit initiatives.

RELATED: Amazon reacts to Seattle head tax and ‘hostile’ rhetoric

But the company’s local growth isn’t slowing any time soon, so one can expect these painted complaints to multiply.

“Especially on Capitol Hill, these are just people who are tired of the rise of everything new around what they considered a Seattle they were comfortable with, or could still afford,” Schlosser said.

“It’s purely about the company and the growth related to that company.”

Ron and Don

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Hostility to Amazon now taking the form of graffiti in Seattle