Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Protests

Breaking: Massive Black Friday strike and arrests planned, as workers defy Wal-Mart 

Another story the mainstream news is slated to mostly ignore, as youtubes begin coming in on the Walmart workers Black Friday protest at 1,500 locations across the United States.  Workers are demanding liveable wages, better working conditions and benefits, and an end to illegal retaliatory treatment against employees who stand up for their basic rights.  

Walmart employs 1.4 million people, while Black Friday is the largest shopping day in the country with Walmart often reporting record breaking sales.  So, if Walmart is making so much money, why can't they pay their workers sufficient wages? 

From Alexandria, Virginia with further coverage here on the arrests.


From Los Angeles:

From Balch Springs, Texas, where Walmart protesters chant, "Hey, hey!  Ho, ho!  Retaliation has got to go!"


Joshua Nabors, who works from midnight to five, speaks heartfelt to fellow protesters in Lancaster, Texas.  Mr. Nabors told the crowd that he was taught "to fight for what I stand for," that it's wrong how Walmart is treating its workers, and that, "God is on the side of people who are fighting for what they believe in."

More here from Salon.

And another piece here, including video, from Ontario, California.  One cashier describes how workers can't survive without some type of assistance or the support of other family members, while another tells reporters, "You see workers relying on governmental funds such as food stamps, and it's sad because we obviously work for the number one retailer and they can do more for associates."

At this time, PoliticusUSA is reporting that the arrests are piling up across the country, with 9 in Alexandria Virginia, 13 in Dallas Fort Worth, 10 in Chicago, and a peaceful Santa Claus arrested with others in Southern California.

Protests are taking place in major metropolitan areas across the nation like Los Angeles, California, Miami, Florida, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Minneapolis, among others.  At the time of this posting, video from the Our Walmart website shows a large crowd loudly and vigorously chanting, "Stand your ground! Stand your ground!" and "Workers outside the store!  We got the workers outside the store!"

Livestream from Virginia here.

*Photo credit/top, via Salon, photographer: Charles Rex Arbogast, protesters outside a Chicago Walmart in September, 2013.

Editor's Update, November 29, 2013.  15 protesters are reported arrested outside Walmart in Bellevue, Washington. 

More on Santa. 

"A Walmart Thanksgiving," by Charles Dickens.

Salon now reports 81 total people arrested in 6 actions, including a Saint Paul protest with both Walmart workers and striking sub-contracted janitors who clean buildings for Target.  In a conversation with Congressman Alan Grayson, the Florida representative questioned President Obama's praise for the controversial retail giant, also stating, “We’ve established a system that makes a tiny, tiny number of people unbelievably wealthy at the expense of everyone else – and turns everyone else into debt slaves and cheap labor.”  Furthermore, Mr. Grayson said, "Even people who are employed now, many of them are not making enough money to survive.  And the outlet more and more for people that they see is this kind of civil disobedience, because the political system has become completely unresponsive to their genuine concerns and their physical needs.”  

More below from twitter:

Editor's update, 11/29/2013, 7:17 P.M. EST, 10:17 Pacific.  Salon reports tens of thousands participating in today's action with 111 arrests in 8 actions and more expected from San Leandro, California.   97 minutes ago, San Jose Mercury News reported  five San Leandro arrests, bringing the known total to 116, and as the paper estimated about 350 people gathered to protest in front of the Walmart at that location.  The five people arrested engaged in civil disobedience by blocking traffic in order to raise awareness about the event.  They were released by police soon after.  One of the persons arrested, 56 year old El Cerrito resident Pam Davis, told reporters that she had been fired from Walmart last summer after standing up for higher wages.  Video below from a boisterous San Leandro action, including chanting, dancing performers, and live music:

More footage, too, from the Bellevue, Washington action where protesters carried the distinctive green balloons shown in pictures shared on twitter:

From Secaucus, New Jersey:


From Chicago:


From Sterling Heights, Michigan where demonstrators delivered a petition to the Walmart store management and chanted, "We won't stop!  We won't stop!"

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania:

Editor's correction:  This blog earlier published an incorrect video for the Los Angeles Black Friday protest - the one from 2012.  It has been replaced with the correct video - for parts of the Los Angeles November 29, 2013 Black Friday Protest.

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