According to the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, 1,000 protests occurred at Wal-Mart stores across 46 states, with hundreds of workers walking off the job in an unprecedented decentralized, open-source strike at the retail giant. Local Occupy groups supported actions in dozens of cities. OWS joined with 99 Pickets, ALIGN, the Retail Action Project, and others to show solidarity to Wal-mart workers in Secaucus, New Jersey. Despite attempts by Wal-Mart's propaganda department to downplay the events, the latest massive wave of strikes and solidarity actions at Wal-Mart forced even the corporate media to pay attention, and put the 1% on notice: When we work together, another world is possible. We do not have to accept poverty, low wages, or unfair working conditions with no benefits while six members of the Walton family are worth more than the bottom 42% of American families combined.
However, the struggle is far from over! Today's inspiring actions point the way forward. Please continue to support OUR Wal-Mart and all low-wage workers in the struggle for economic justice and show support for the courageous workers and unemployed people on the frontlines against income inequality.
It's Black Friday madness caught on video. A mob of people grabbing for the same product at a Moultrie, Georgia Wal-Mart.
A cell phone shows it all. You can hear the screams of frantic people being pushed and shoved as they tried to get their hands on a Black Friday deal.
"They were literally pulling hair, people lost their shoes, you would see them just fighting, hitting each other, punching each other, and the cops actually told people, look it is time to go, sale is over," said Sharon Buchte, Shopper.
Wal-Mart headquarters says it's an "unfortunate, isolated event."
Isolated event, eh?
At this Wal-Mart in Oklahoma City, it's the sale in the video game section...
This guy took his young children to Wal-Mart in Tampa, Florida today "to watch the animals" fight over $5.00 headphones, and CNN thought it was such a good idea that they invited him on the TV?
Here we have a lot of women at another Wal-Mart -- not certain where -- rushing the towel sale today.
One last "isolated incident." Oh noes! It's the Xbox games. Note that this Wal-Mart is using yellow police tape to close off the area, lol, as if that would stop this crowd.
From the comments on this video at Youtube, "THE REAL WALKING DEAD..."
A few more Wal-Mart horror stories from Black Friday 2012:
A couple is run over in front of a Washington state Wal-Mart by a possibly intoxicated 71-year-old driver in an SUV. The woman was trapped underneath the vehicle and the man landed on the hood.
An Ohio police department is being sued this Black Friday for yet another isolated incident at a Wal-Mart last Black Friday, when police took down a shopper they wrongly accused of shoplifting and proceeded to beat the holy hell out of him.
And this Florida woman was arrested at a Wal-Mart on Black Thursday, or whatever they call the sale that starts on the day Wal-Mart workers should be home celebrating with their own families, as she searched for her sister in the store.
At yet another Florida Wal-Mart, two people were shot in front of a Tallahassee Wal-Mart by an unidentified person who fled the scene. Few details other than the victims have non-life threatening injuries, according to police, and the scene was swiftly cleaned up so shopping could resume. [Thanks to reader "flag_bible_gun" for the tip. There is video of the shooting that will probably be released at some point after the police finish reviewing it.]
Wal-Mart workers most certainly deserve better wages with all the crap they have to put up with, and I'm not nearly half-way through the Wal-Mart Black Friday videos I've come across or had sent to me. I imagine they were knocked around pretty good today as shoppers fought over their precious Black Friday loot. And to you brave souls who are participating in the walkout today, may this be your last holiday season not earning enough income to get above the poverty line, and finally be respected, appreciated, and safe from workplace hazards...like crazed Black Friday shoppers.
For the first time in 50 years of Wal-Mart’s smiley-faced existence, workers have been walking out and attempting to disrupt Wal-Mart’s warp-speed supply chain. Why? Because they want things like ceiling fans when it’s 120 degrees outside. But some billionaires can be SO touchy!
Since none of the workers are unionized, these people are especially brave. And now they’re talking about even bigger action on Black Friday.
The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.
Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. Someone taped up a crude poster: “Blitz Line Starts Here.”
By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.
Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.
Some workers who saw what was happening fought their way through the surge to get to Mr. Damour, but he had been fatally injured, the police said. Emergency workers tried to revive Mr. Damour, a temporary worker hired for the holiday season, at the scene, but he was pronounced dead an hour later at Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream.
Four other people, including a 28-year-old woman who was described as eight months pregnant, were treated at the hospital for minor injuries.
Wal-Mart workers across the country are planning to stage unprecedented walkouts and protests on Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Wal-Mart has sought to counter the effort by filing an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and, according to critics, threatening workers with retaliation. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! talks with William Fletcher, a Wal-Mart worker and member of the employee advocacy group OUR Walmart; and Josh Eidelson, a contributing writer for The Nation.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: The nation’s largest private employer Walmart is seeking to block a series of protests and actions critical of its labor conditions at stores nationwide. Late last week, Walmart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, claiming it’s unlawfully trying to disrupt its business. The move comes just days before a group of Walmart workers are preparing to strike on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. The strike will be accompanied by rallies and flash mobs outside Walmart stores nationwide. One of the groups organizing the protests is OUR Walmart — the Organization United for respect at Walmart. In an advocacy video, Walmart workers explain why they are planning to walk out.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Because together, we’re stronger than alone.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Because I like to make a difference for those who are too scared to come forward.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Because Walmart can afford to pay us enough to live better.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Stand up, live better.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, to talk more about this, we’re joined by two guests: William Fletcher, a Walmart worker, Josh Eidelson is a contributing writer for The Nation Magazine. We welcome you both to Democracy Now!. Let’s go to William in Los Angeles first. What are your plans for Friday?
WILLIAM FLETCHER: So for Friday, we’re planning to have walked out that many of our stores, the one that I work at already being one of them. We’re hoping to have as much of the community join us so that we can try to make a strong impression so that Walmart will listen to us and end retaliation that happens in the stores nationwide.
To make a mess that another person will have to deal with—the dropped socks, the toothpaste sprayed on the bathroom mirror, the dirty dishes left from a late-night snack—is to exert domination in one of its more silent and intimate forms. -Barbara Ehrenreich, in “Made to Order,” an essay from the anthology Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, co-edited with Arlie Russell Hochschild
[This quote is] relevant to an argument I just had about “disruptive” protest at Walmart in supposed solidarity with the Black Friday strikes. Picket, protest, march and rally all you want, hold a sit-in, but please, before you do things like deliberately create a mess in the store or leave a full cart in the checkout line, consider who’s going to have to clean up the mess that you make. It’s not going to be Rob Walton or any of the other multibillionaires. It won’t even be the assistant manager. It’ll be the same low-wage worker who maybe wanted to go on strike but wasn’t quite convinced, or who was threatened by their boss, who’s working an extra-long shift on the worst shopping day of the year.
Solidarity doesn’t mean you decide for yourself what is best for the workers. It means showing up in the ways they need and want you to and letting them decide how to build worker power.
We ask you to reflect on the statement issued by workers and Making Change at Wal-Mart as you plan your Black Friday solidarity action:
Across the country, Wal-Mart employs 1.4 million people. We are not just the Associates that you see in stores, we are moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives working hard to support our families.
We have been speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect, but instead of working with us to make changes, Wal-Mart has attempted to silence us and has retaliated against us for speaking out. Our jobs have been threatened, our hours cut, our schedules changed. Some of us have even been fired.
We will not be silenced. Throughout the holiday season, including Black Friday, we will be standing up for an end to the retaliation against workers who speak out for what’s right for our families, our communities and our country, and we hope that you will stand with us. It is not an easy decision, but without an end to the retaliation, Wal-Mart workers across the country will be walking off the job in protest, and we hope you will join us in creative, non-violent action in solidarity with our strike. We ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about our strikes and demonstrates to Wal-Mart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out.
Together, we are calling on Wal-Mart to end the retaliation against hard-working employees who are courageously speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and more hours, affordable health care and respect.
We will not be silenced until we see real change at Wal-Mart.
The folks at Fox News ran a segment with host Stuart Varney speaking with a Wal-Mart spokesman about the planned Black Friday strikes without mentioning a single concern of Wal-Mart's employees. Varney instead praised Wal-Mart for "taking on" the unions, and asked if they were planning to fire striking workers, and even praised the company for its charitable efforts after Hurricane Sandy.
Following the segment, Fox News ran a banner ad explaining that "this program is brought to you by Walmart," followed by an advertisement for the company's Black Friday promotion.
A thousand store protests are planned in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., the group says.The workers, who are part of a union-backed employee coalition called Making Change at Wal-Mart, say this is the beginning of a wave of protests and strikes leading up to Black Friday.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is taking its first legal step to stop months of protests and rallies outside Walmart stores, targeting the union that it says is behind such actions.
Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, asking the National Labor Relations Board to halt what the retailer says are unlawful attempts to disrupt its business.
The move comes just a week before what is expected to be the largest organized action against the world's largest retailer, as a small group of Walmart workers prepare to strike on Black Friday, typically the busiest shopping day of the year.
"We are taking this action now because we cannot allow the UFCW to continue to intentionally seek to create an environment that could directly and adversely impact our customers and associates," Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said on Friday. "If they do, they will be held accountable."
The UFCW responded with The union is undeterred. "Walmart is grasping at straws. There's nothing in the law that gives an employer the right to silence workers and citizens."
"We just don't think what the unions have to offer is a better deal for our associates," said Wal-Mart's spokesman, David Tovar.