1,000 Walmart protests across the US

An update on nationwide strikes and solidarity demonstrations

By Natasha Lennard

Published November 23, 2012 6:51PM (EST)

A Walmart press release this morning downplayed what commentators have called historic strike actions by Walmart workers this Black Friday across the United States.

The release noted that "the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year," but hundreds of protests in 46 states beginning Thursday evening have drawn attention to the retailer's poor labor practices while according to The Nation, workers struck at stores in Dallas, Kenosha, Wis., San Leandro, Calif., and Clovis, N.M. At least one worker went out on strike at stores in Ocean City, Md., Orlando and Baton Rouge. Rep.-elect Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) joined a Walmart worker as she walked off her job in St. Cloud.

Walmart stores rang up almost 10 million transactions from the time doors opened for Black Friday shoppers at 8 p.m. Thursday until midnight. Meanwhile the following strikes and protest actions have been reported:

  • Dozens of protesters supported strikers in Miami when they walked off the job last night.
  • 500 workers and supporters marched on a Walmart in Landover, MD.
  • Striking Chicago workers and their supporters marched on several Walmart stores in Illinois beginning at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning.
  • Striking workers in Duarte, Calif. formed a picket lined up in front of their store.
  • In Florida, U.S. Rep.-elect Alan Grayson walked a worker off her job Thursday night and then joined workers on the picket line Friday morning.
  • Dozens protested with striking workers in San Leandro, Calif.
  • Workers in Clovis and Albuquerque in New Mexico, walked off the job. 
  •  In Lancaster, Texas, Dallas police ushered strikers off of Walmart property, but they continued their protest nearby.
  • The walkout in Kenosha, Wisc. was amplified by a light show last night.  And workers are now on strike in Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • In Quincy, Mass. supporters projected a 30-foot “Stand Up, Live Better” message on facade of a Walmart supercenter. They distributed 650 flyers, 500 sets of handwarmers, and 300 "I support Walmart workers' rights!" stickers to customers waiting in line, along with thank you cards for Associates.
  • A civil disobedience took place in Paramount, outside Los Angeles, noted Josh Eidelsonat the Nation: "Organizers say 1,500 workers and supporters are demonstrating against retaliation. Nine people have been arrested for sitting in the street on Lakewood Boulevard, including three striking Walmart retail workers from area stores: Charlene Fletcher and William Fletcher from Duarte, and Martha Sellers from Paramount." 

Eidelson  posted this video of protesters demonstrating inside a Maryland store:

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Black Friday Labor Rights Protests Strike The Labor Movement Video Walmart