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.”