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Making Change at Walmart Black Friday Actions & Photos ** UPDATED **

UPDATE In addition to the links in the original post (and the Change Walmart Twitter and Tumblr links are particularly helpful in getting an idea of what’s happening around the nation, with lots of photos and videos) check out links provided at Corrente.

Reports I’m seeing say that some kind of action has occurred in 100 cities, in 46 states. The smallest reported (in more than one location): one Walmart employee. Courage is the word that comes to my mind. The largest I’ve seen reported: 1500, workers and supporters, in Paramount, near LA.

A few ways to keep up with what’s happening at Walmart stores across the nation follow. Not all, of course, will see strikers and supporters, and no one expects an immediate, dramatic “win” by the workers, but there’s no doubt that Walmart “associates” got the attention of some, from Walmart upper echelons to media to labor to politicians to the public. “Making change” is a process, most of which takes place at the grassroots level and doesn’t get media attention. What we see playing out now is another part of the change process, as much about educating as protesting.

The photo above is of strikers in Dallas, via Change Walmart

Some background from Making Change at Walmart:

Making Change at Walmart is a campaign challenging Walmart to act responsibly and help rebuild our economy. For the most up-to-the-minute Walmart news, follow us on ChangeWalmart. …

Anchored by the United Food and Commercial Workers, we are a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, women’s advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials, and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country.

Josh Eidelson, at The Nation, is providing updates.

A media advisory sent out Monday invited local reporters in North Bergen, New Jersey to visit the local Walmart on Tuesday or Wednesday and see preparations for Black Friday. But the same advisory (shared with The Nation by a recipient) announced that ‘Local media will not be permitted in-store access from Thursday, November 22 through Sunday, November 25. Regular media access will resume Monday, November 26.’ Walmart did not immediately respond to The Nation’s inquiry regarding how widespread this policy is, or whether it’s a change from the past.

Local reporters aren’t the only ones Walmart is reportedly keeping out of its stores. At 12:28 AM, Huffington Post retail reporter Alice Hines tweeted from Wheatland, Texas:
‘#kickedoutofwalmart for solicitation but was told i could report in the parking lot’

All photos via Change Walmart:

Strikers in Mobile, Alabama:

Maryland Sen. Roger Manno at Strike:

Wisconsin Light Brigade support:

For more photos and updates see Change Walmart Tumblr and Change Walmart Twitter.

And for another way to support the efforts, from Occupy Solidarity Network, at WePay: (emphasis added)

Getting fired for demonstrating is a scary thing. We at the Occupy Solidarity Network would like to help alleviate that worry for anyone who is fired in retribution for organizing or demonstrating at Walmart.

Walmart workers decided in October 2012 to strike on Black Friday after they were targeted for retaliation for speaking out against substandard work conditions and treatment … .

We will support the workers participating in organizing efforts and nonviolent demonstrations in support of the fight for economic civil rights of the Walmart worker effort. Money raised will go towards paying stipends and living expenses for workers fired for organizing and participating in acts of peaceful civil disobedience.

‘Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home…the factory, farm or office where he works…unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

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11 Responses to Making Change at Walmart Black Friday Actions & Photos ** UPDATED **

  1. ladywalker68 November 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks, Joyce for painting a more accurate picture of what is happening with the strike than the Huffington Post. Arianna must be friends with the Walton family because all I could find over there anywhere near the front page was a photo of 2 employees and WalFart claiming that only 50 or so employees were striking.

    • ladywalker68 November 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Adding, it looks as if the workers can’t rely on the enslaved corporate media for any assistance. Thank God for the Twitter feed, otherwise, there would be no coverage of what is actually happening. Just like the Tar Sands protests….

      My, my, the corporate media is in collusion with Wal Mart. Who could have seen that coming???

      • Cujo359 November 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

        I wrote about this last night, and I had trouble finding any coverage that was current. There were articles about the October strikes, but little since then about how many would strike, etc. The articles I did find were mostly from small online publications.

        I don’t know what’s with the HuffPo. They’re owned by AOL now, the Walmart of the Internet. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit that there’s reluctance to provide coverage there.

        • ladywalker68 November 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

          Thanks, Cujo. Great post over there.

        • Joyce Arnold November 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

          Thanks for the link, Cujo. I encourage everyone to go check out your post. And by the way — in reference to a remark you make in your article — I think writing the article is “doing something” important.

      • Joyce Arnold November 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

        Yep, just as with Tar Sands, with the multiple protests against fracking, and basically with just about every advocacy / protest effort made, media and public attention is generally (always with good exceptions) short-term or non-existent.

        The Twitter feed is great, I agree.

  2. Cujo359 November 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Thanks for the coverage, Joyce. I had no idea what was going on. It looks like whatever progressives do these days, it will be without “serious” press coverage.

    On a related note, Demos released a report the other day, explaining how important the retail sector is in our economy these days. With Walmart workers needing government assistance to make ends meet, I see no reason to make the Walton family richer, and our government tax dollars are effectively doing that. Let them pay their workers a living wage, and deal with their concerns about working conditions.

    • ladywalker68 November 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      AMEN!

  3. ladywalker68 November 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Just found this. TPM is covering it. Workers in 100 cities have participated:
    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/photo-wal-mart-workers-across-country-protest-on

    • Joyce Arnold November 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      I’ve seen the 100 or more number in several places. No doubt that number will be dismissed as unimpressive, a sign of ineffectuality, or whatever. I see it as the brave actions of some people quite literally putting their jobs on the line, and for those who will listen, pointing out the “elephant in the room” that is the world’s largest retailer, and the even bigger elephant in the global world, which Occupy still has right: the 1%.

      • ladywalker68 November 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

        It appears as if the Huffington Post has crossed over and supports Wal-Mart abusing its workers. The only headlines at HP had to be hunted down and when found, cast the strike as “ineffectual” or “an inconvenience” to the poor shoppers who were relying on the sales.

        The Nation has a full report:
        http://www.thenation.com/blog/171435/biggest-strike-against-biggest-employer-walmart-workers-make-history-again#

        Begin Quote
        “With Biggest Strike Against Biggest Employer, Walmart Workers Make History Again
        Josh Eidelson on November 23, 2012 – 11:46 PM ET

        Hanover and Severn, MD–For about twenty-four hours, Walmart workers, union members and a slew of other activists pulled off the largest-ever US strike against the largest employer in the world. According to organizers, strikes hit a hundred US cities, with hundreds of retail workers walking off the job (last month‘s strikes drew 160).

        Organizers say they also hit their goal of a thousand total protests, with all but four states holding at least one. In the process, they notched a further escalation against the corporation that’s done more than any other to frustrate the ambitions and undermine the achievements of organized labor in the United States.
        End Quote

        Am I the only one who finds it very sad that Wal Mart is now this country’s largest employer? What that means is that we are now just a nation of consumers, not creators or builders, but rather users and accumulators of stuff and willing to purchase that junk at cheap prices from an employer that abuses its employees.

        Wow…

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong