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Up way to early to be at Walmart by 7 AM. I picked up my sister in struggle, Julie, and we got there about five minutes late. By that time our fellow protesters had already been kicked out to the curb, and told never to return. Well, Julie and I had not yet been told to leave and so we headed for the main door. Once inside we began talking to customers and workers, and so, of course, we too were asked to leave. Three managers escorted us out the door.

And so we left. No problem, right?

Wrong!

A few minutes later, five squad cars drove up into Walmart's parking lot next to us where we were standing on the side walk near the access road. The officers brought out the manager to give us the trespassing warning. They took my name and Julies' name, even though we both let them know that we had left when asked and weren't going back. We let the officers know that we had Solidarity with all workers, including them and their union. One officer thanked us for that.

For the next two hours four squad cars were parked in the Walmart lot keeping an eye on us. Your tax dollars at work, folks. Walmart gets the tax payers to pay for their security just like they get tax payers to supplement their low-wage employment.

We had a great group of protesters What we lacked in numbers, we made up for in spirit. We marched with our signs, chanted, sang a few union songs, and gave the OurWalmart sign to everyone who honked. And lots of people honked, especially truckers and bus drivers. One lady brought us donuts out of appreciation for our action, "Keep up the good fight," she said.

I asked most everyone in our group why they were there protesting Walmart.
Names are used with permission. See below for the answers:

Madeleine:

I'm here because I haven't shopped in a Walmart for years and I will never shop at Walmart as long as they continue to treat their employees like dirt. The Walmart family is the second wealthiest family in the nation, and one of the greediest.
Julie Pousson:
It's absolutely not OK for us to create a 3rd world nation within our nation by accepting the subjugation of the people who provide us services.
JC:
I resent my taxes being used to subsidize corporate profits, and the right-wing politicians who support these Corporate Welfare Chiselers.
John was up late last night handing out 600 flyers at 3 different Walmarts. Then got up early to protest with us. His friends continued handing out flyers today. They were able to hand out 400 more flyers at a Walmart on the east side. John was searched while inside a Walmart, threatened with arrest, and asked to leave. He left the store but was able to continue to pass out flyers in the parking lot. John described his mother working long hours on the night shift at Walmart & barely able to see her newborn baby. Walmart's disregard for family life is a theme we hear over and over.

Peter, Noah, Joshua, Alex, & Eric were a group of young men in their early 20s, friends who came out to protest together. The coming fight for justice has a bright future with young folks like them getting on board.

Peter:  

I heard about this Black Friday protest of Walmart, & let my friends know, and also Madeleine. I met Madeleine (see above) when she was leading a high school project, a program to teach high school students the way the Democratic Party works. I'm politically active now, but not with a party. I think the Democrats have never taken the approach to frame the case for economic justice, and they're not supporting unions in any way.
Noah
I heard about Our Walmart and the walk outs and I can completely stand behind the idea of supporting the Walmart workers and showing solidarity with their effort to get better working conditions and wages. And just for them to be treated like humans.
Joshua:
I'm worried about the income disparity between the mangers and the administrators and the bulk of the workforce.  I think the younger people will think more about these things when they have to start looking for jobs.
Alex:
There's something wrong when one family has as much wealth as the bottom half of the country and yet, the people here, the Walmart Workers, struggle just to get by. It's not right.
Eric:
As young people we need to stand for something and participate in democracy. With this protesting, we stand for something as opposed to nothing and we are making noise. Because in America, it's all about making noise. The American Revolution was all about intellectual debate, intellectual progressivism. The Revolution would have never occurred if people had just stood with the status quo. People need to understand that there are repercussions for inaction whether they know it or not.
Eric was active with Occupy San Diego before coming to San Antonio.

All in all, a successful protest. Julie and I were the last two left standing. And now she's trying to talk me into protesting at Walmart every Saturday morning thru Christmas.
We shall see.

Hour later: thx for rec list. Getting more steamed thinking about city police providing Walmart with private security. We left when told to, and did not go back. We stayed on the sidewalk as told. At one time, there were 6 cops there for 11 protesters!! 4 squad cars sitting in the Walmart parking lot for two hours and then circled us frequently for another 4 hours until we left. Wonder what that cost the city of San Antonio? Thinking of writing a letter to the editor. Will sleep on it for now.

Hope everyone had a great
Black Friday Protest!
Solidarity,
JayRaye

This one is for John's Mother. God Bless.

Originally posted to In Support of Labor and Unions on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 03:43 PM PST.

Also republished by Invisible People and Occupy Wall Street.

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