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(LifeSiteNews) – On June 1, 30 employees marched out of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, draped themselves in transgender flags, and toppled over. They then proceeded to lay prone on the sidewalk in front of a stage that had been set up for Amazon’s “Glamazon Pride 2022” event, the location of Amazon’s “Pride” month festivities for staff and members of the public. The “die-in”— a form of guerrilla theater in which the protestors simulate corpses — is a common form of protest. 

The event was covered on Twitter by Katherine Long of Business Insider, who posted a viral photo of the flag-draped layabouts with the caption: “I’m at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, where about 30 Amazon employees are staging a die-in during Amazon’s Pride Flag raising ceremony in protest of the company’s continued sale of what they say are transphobic books.” According to Long, the Amazon staffers are affiliated with “the internal employee activist group No Hate at Amazon” and were protesting “transphobic books” at Amazon. 

Despite Amazon’s craven attempts to appease the LGBT crowd, Long noted that the company “has come under fire for what some LGBTQA+ activists say are the company’s attempts to ‘rainbow-wash’ its reputation” — Seattle Pride actually prohibited Amazon from being a sponsor of the city’s “Pride” parade. For activists within Amazon, the company’s full-throated support of the LGBT agenda is a farce due to the fact that it earns revenue selling books that “harm transgender people.” A key complaint is that Amazon declined to remove Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters — despite the success of activists in having Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment removed. 

Shrier’s book — which was named a “Book of the Year” by The Economist and widely praised as an essential piece of reportage on a complex current issue — has recently received more attention when Bill Maher praised it on his HBO show “Realtime with Bill Maher” during a critique of the trans movement’s radicalism. Earlier in 2022, more than 600 Amazon employees presented a petition calling for greater staff oversight over which books get published, and several employees quit over Shrier’s book (one wrote a column for Business Insider citing Amazon’s “anti-trans practices”).  

The point of the “die-in” was to accuse Amazon of contributing to the literal deaths of transgender people by publisher books like Shrier’s, which make the case that a generation of children are being hastened into sex changes with irreversible effects. This is the most effective tool in the transgender movement’s toolkit: Accuse anyone who disagrees with any tenet of their agenda of literally causing transgender suicides. It is a potent tactic with the dual function of exploiting compassion while also working as blackmail. Nobody wants to be accused of contributing to suicides—and regardless of how groundless the accusation is, in today’s media climate, it sticks. 

RELATED: Montana will no longer let ‘transgenders’ change their birth certificates, says surgery can’t change sex

Interestingly, there are two things going on here at once. The accusation of activist employees that companies like Amazon are “rainbow-washing” their practices is actually an accurate one. Massive multi-national corporations have wrapped themselves in the rainbow flag as a way of avoiding scrutiny of their work conditions and business practices. It is an extraordinary low-cost way of pretending to be on the side of “justice” as progressives understand it without having to actually worry about providing employees with things like health insurance. Corporate leaders understand that there is a lot of social capital to be gained by posing as “allies” of the LGBT community. Which isn’t to say that these leaders don’t believe all this stuff, but merely to point out that their enthusiasm is often deeply cynical. 

On the other hand, these Amazon activists are attempting to stifle all criticism of the LGBT agenda by accusing their employers of having a hand in transgender deaths as a way of facilitating modern-day book burnings. Critics like Abigail Shrier and Ryan T. Anderson have to be shut down at all costs, and if petitions and complaints and anonymous media interviews don’t do the trick, then physical, direct action is next. I suspect we’ll see this escalate — and I suspect Amazon will eventually buckle. 

RELATED: Poll shows most Americans reject using or mandating trans pronouns in public schools

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.