Written By Asha French, Contributor
Amazon wants to cover a Northern Virginia community in asphalt, pave over gravesites, homes, and a Civil War battleground to make way for a power plant.
Willetta “Dolly” Grayson, 91, just wants to keep her North Virginia family together, she tells, The Washington Post. “Hopefully, we’ll continue to stick together,” she tells the newspaper.
But Amazon wants to build a data center on Carver Road, the land her ancestors purchased right after the Civil War. The company plans to pave over the small community’s homes, including the gravesites where their ancestors rest after years of labor, sparking protests throughout the community, the World Socialist Web Site reports.
Amazon subsidiary VAData and Dominion Virginia Power are constructing high voltage power lines that will run through the close-knit community. The partnership is supported by the state of Virginia and Prince William County. According the news outlet, “The Prince William County Board of Supervisors rejected an alternative route which would have gone through a wealthy area.”
“The state of Virginia has awarded Amazon millions in tax breaks and grants to construct its warehouses and data centers throughout the state, even as it throws families out of homes to make way for these properties and subjects its employees to illegal forms of exploitation,” the Socialist Web Site writes. “As the case of Carver Road reveals, its abuse of the workforce goes well beyond the four walls of its facilities.”
The community has not been silent about its impending destruction. Descendants of formerly enslaved landowners have organized the Alliance to Save Carver Road. An alliance representative spoke with the International Amazon Workers Voice, an insider publication that publishes Amazon warehouse workers anonymously, including one who says, “The homeowners have been there for generations. Many of the properties were purchased by freed slaves. After emancipation, the slaves that worked that area were allowed to purchase property. A number of the property owners are descendants of those freed slaves.”
This is an outrageous atrocity! And more communities need to band together to put a stop to this. But as always, the rich don’t have this mess happening in their neighborhoods, but those who are not rich, but who own their homes are dealt a terrible blow. And another sad fact is that they are probably not even attempting to pay these people what their homes are worth and even then, many don’t want to sell because of what their home and the land means to them and I don’t blame them.
Black people have a hard enough time owning a home and then some giant like Amazon can just decide to run some high voltage power lines through it to build yet another huge operating plant. I have never bought anything off Amazon and I never will. Unfortunately, there are too few like me!
The USDA has been stealing black farmers land for years – but they seem to be organizing and fighting back now: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/the-resurgence-of-black-farmers-20160708
No rich guy should be allowed to put anyone off their land, just because they’re weak and powerless. It doesn’t matter how much they pay you for your land, you never find something of comparable value, especially when you take account of all the time and energy you have invested improving it.
Nothing is sacred. Just ask our Native Americans.
Too right. People shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate such obscene levels of wealth if they’re just going to use it to oppress other people.